Athens, February 16, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Spiros Sideris
In a complicated and crucial period both for Greece and for the entire international community, the multidimensional and active policy of Greece, seems to bear fruit.
The bilateral and trilateral collaborations of Greece, the efforts for a realistic foreign policy and the closure of the issues that plague the country, is the aim of the political leadership of the Foreign Ministry, in order to bring Greece at the center of geopolitical changes.
The opening of the left government to countries such as Egypt, Israel, the USA, Iran, Turkey and others, is indicative of the implementation of the design for versatility and active foreign policy.
A common ascertainment is that for the first time in many years, Greece and Turkey are close to areas where had previously been considered taboo. The refugee problem, the energy issue, the Cyprus issue and other regional issues are part of the common agenda of the two countries that are looking for solutions and points of convergence.
Greece is in dire financial position and Turkey feels isolated in the region, after policy failures, but also due to circumstances in its foreign policy. Cavusoglu and Kotzias haev a close cooperation. Perhaps with a different point of view each, but always for the benefit of peace and cooperation, as the two ministers have stressed both in words and actions.
This approach however, appears to be bothering certain circles, which in various ways are trying to torpedo the improvement of the two countries’ relations.
It is no coincidence that a few hours before the Davutoglu – Tsipras – Merkel meeting in Brussels, an article was published on the part of Turkey, which challenged the sovereignty of Greece on the island of Rhodes.
As the newspaper Kathimerini reports, the Turkish side did not accept the flight plan of the government aircraft, which was to make a refueling stop in Rhodes and then would fly to Iran for the visit of Alexis Tsipras to Isfahan and Tehran.
This news raises many questions both about the time it was published and for the flight plan itself.
The plane that was carrying the prime minister has a flight range of around 800 nautical miles. The distance from Athens to Isfahan is about 1400 nautical miles. A refueling in Rhodes, 250 miles from Athens and 1150 in Isfahan, suggests that the plane would need a second refueling stop. Who decided for the prime minister’s plane to make two refueling stops? Why wasn’t there a refueling stop halfway, either at a turkish airport, or in Cyprus or Egypt? Why did the news surface at this particular moment and who leaked it?
Which circles want to stop the approach between Greece and Turkey? Some speak of cycles in the Defence ministry that do not wish the two countries to come together. Interests regarding weapons systems and defence spending? Others speak of nationalist groups wishing to retain tension between the two countries. Whoever orchestrated and leaked the specific news does not serve the national interests of neither Greece nor Turkey at the moment.
In a volatile geopolitical and geostrategic area, the effort to diffuse tensions between the two countries that are willing and able to help the stability of the region is essential. The attempts by certain interests to cause tension can only be seen as malevolent and is very dangerous for the security of both Greece and Turkey, as well as the broader region.