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live Syria caused a diplomatic fever in Athens

28 August 2013 / 11:08:04  GRReporter
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Sounds of the drums of war in Syria have already reached the Prime Minister's Maximou residence in Athens. So far, representatives of the Foreign Ministry have refuted publications that have flooded the Internet, according to which Washington wants the Greek government to provide its military base in Souda, Crete, and the military airport in Kalamata, as well as the use of Greek airspace for an attack on Syria. Concerns of the government are related to the very nature of the Greek problem, i.e. what the consequences of a possible war in Syria might be on the debt crisis which is affecting the country.

Again, opinions vary. There are members of the cabinet, who do not want the opening of a military front in the southeast Mediterranean in any case at a time when attempts are being made in order to attract foreign investment. However, there are associates of the Prime Minister, who believe that such developments will take the country out of the framework and allow seeking a final decision in terms of collaboration with creditors. Some believe that if Egypt, Syria and Turkey blaze up, i.e. almost the entire "neighbourhood" of Greece, nothing good can be expected. However, there is also an opinion that under these circumstances, the country is becoming the only island of stability and hence development in the area of the southeast Mediterranean.

The only sure thing is that despite the denials of the Foreign Minister, the Greek government not only knows that Greek military bases are present in alternative plans for a possible military intervention, but that their use, if requested and within transatlantic agreements will happen with the agreement of the Cabinet. Moreover, given that Turkey insists on an urgent intervention in Syria, perceiving it as a chance to improve its shaky relationship with the USA, the support which will be required will be related to the provision of military assistance.

Six days after the attack with the use of chemical weapons in Syria, Greek Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos confirmed that he has discussed the issue with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, as well as with his French counterpart. "The reaction must be clear and unequivocal", emphasised Venizelos and did not forget to ask for a harsh sentence for the attack with chemical weapons.

Even the fact that the management of SYRIZA was quick to call on the government "to assure Greek people that it will not only refuse the use of the base in Souda by NATO for an intervention in Syria, but oppose any plans for a military intervention in the region", confirms the truth.

In recent days, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos has had a series of meetings with envoys from Arab countries, and today at 12:30 p.m. he will meet the UK Ambassador in Athens. It should be reminded that the USA has the military base in Souda on Crete and the British RAF has its base in Cyprus.

"The situation in Syria is very serious and we strongly condemn it," said Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos in an interview for Reuters. Today he spoke to his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Zarif Zabad on the phone. This conversation was initiated by a Tehran diplomat who wanted to inform him about Iran’s position about the situation in Syria. Tomorrow, Venizelos will meet the Ambassador of Serbia in Athens. 

Tags: Syria crisis military intervention NATO military bases Souda Kalamata
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