Greece Warns US to Adhere to Laws on Turkey

ATHENS (Reuters)–Greece on Tuesday accused the West of having double standards in its foreign policy by threatening Serbia with military attacks over Kosovo but leaving Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus unchecked.

Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos told parliament his country was not advocating military action against Ankara but wanted the United States to "force" Turkey to remove weapons from the divided Mediterranean island.

Greece has long argued that Washington was turning a blind eye to the use of US-purchased military hardware by Turkey in northern Cyprus–which it invaded in 1974 in response to a coup sponsored by the military junta then ruling Greece.

The US Congress has forbidden such use–but officials say the law has a number of exemptions.

Pangalos drew a contrast between what he saw as the West’s inaction in responding to Turkey with its willingness to launch attacks on Serbia–a longtime Greek ally–when its forces were cracking down on ethnic Albanian separatists in Kosovo.

"When Serbia does not accept the decision of the international community then fighter jets and carriers and other means are found," he said.

"We don’t want anyone to blackmail anyone militarily…but we are asking for the minimum–for the American administration to…apply American laws," he said.

Pangalos also repeated calls for Turkey to take any disputes it has with Greece over sovereignty in the Aegean Sea to the International Court in the Hague.

"Sooner or later Ankara will swallow this bitter pill–so it would be better if it did so now–so we can get the whole thing over with," he said.

Turkey has said it wants to discuss disputes with Greece–including sovereignty–but Athens insists any such issues belong before the court.

The European Commission said Wednesday that Turkey was not eligible for EU membership consideration due to its human rights record.


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