Germany calls on Greece to demilitarise islands near Turkey

As Ankara and Athens prepare for talks, Germany has called on Greece to withdraw its army from Aegean Sea islands, near Turkey, Greek newspaper ESTIA reported on Friday.

Speaking about the visit of the German Ambassador Ernst Reichel to the Greek parliament on Thursday, the newspaper said: “It was a real surprise.”

ESTIA said that the German diplomat said that his country “can not show the utmost cruelty towards Turkey because if we do that we will destroy our ability to mediate.”

The newspaper also reported that Germany is telling Turkey to disband its army based in Izmir.

“Berlin is pressuring Athens and Ankara at the same time to withdraw troops, with the Army and the National Guard leaving our islands and islets, and another for Smyrni (Izmir),” the newspaper said.

According to the newspaper, this is the desire of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who, the newspaper claimed, wants these islands to be demilitarised.

It also reported the German ambassador stressing: “The Chancellor considers that it is her personal duty to avoid a military conflict and to have a peaceful border.”

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