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Tsipras in tweets addressed to his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu has charged the NATO member of “violations” of Greece’s air space, accusing it of creating an “outrageous” and “unbelievable” situation over the Aegean Sea.
Tsipras tweeted saying “fortunately our pilots are not as mercurial as yours”.
Tsipras later deleted his tweets – but only from the English version of his account.
The official English-speaking account of Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras (@Tsipras_eu) posted four tweets addressed to Davutoglu.
“What is happening in the Aegean is outrageous and unbelievable #EUTurkey,” tweeted Tsipras.
“We’re spending billions on weapons. You–to violate our airspace, we–to intercept you #EUTurkey”
“We have the most modern aerial weapons systems–and yet, on the ground, we can’t catch traffickers who drown innocent people #EUTurkey” Tsipras added.
Greece and Turkey are embroiled in a dispute over the sovereignty of islands in the Aegean Sea. Official Greek figures put the number of Turkish jets violating Greek airspace at 2,244 times in 2014 and 1443 this year alone.
On Sunday, Tsipras, through Twitter, said the two countries should focus on saving refugees, not on weapons.
“Comments on pilots by @atsipras seem hardly in tune with the spirit of the day. Alexis: let us focus on our positive agenda,” @Ahmet_Davutoglu responded.
The two are attending an EU-Turkey summit on refugees in Brussels.
In a deal reached with European Union leaders on Sunday, Turkey promised to help stem the flow of migrants to Europe in return for cash aid and renewed talks on joining the EU.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree imposing a package of economic sanctions against Turkey following its downing of a Russian Su-24 bomber in Syria.
According to Russian Minister of Economic Development Aleksey Ulyukaev, the Turkish Stream project to deliver Russian natural gas to Turkey, and the construction of a nuclear power plant in the country could also be canceled.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had given the go-ahead on joining the pipeline from Russia to Europe via Turkey and Greece in June this year.
TBP and Agencies