Turkey's foreign minister again threatened to "take action" against Greece if it continues to arm its islands in the Aegean Sea, which Ankara says should remain demilitarized in accordance with international treaties, AP reports.
Mevlut Cavusoglu's comments followed reports of Greek military exercises on the islands of Rhodes and Lesbos in the Aegean Sea. Turkish officials insist that the deployment of soldiers or weapons on some of the islands near its coast is a violation of their non-military status under international law.
Athens says it needs to protect the islands from possible attack by Turkey, noting that Turkey has significant military forces on the western Turkish coast directly opposite the islands.
Speaking at a joint press conference with his Romanian counterpart, Cavusoglu once again accused Athens of violating treaties.
“We cannot remain silent,” Cavusoglu said. “Greece needs to renounce its violation. Either it steps back on the issue and abides by the agreement or we’ll do whatever is necessary.”
“We will continue to take the necessary steps both legally - within international organization, especially the U.N. and on the field,” the minister said.