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Turkey denies deliberately holding Greece minister's plane in air

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis speaks during a press conference on state defence, economy programme at the Thessaloniki Helexpo Forum on September 13, 2020. - Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Saturday, announced a "robust" arms purchase programme and an overhaul of the country's military amid tension with Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean. Mitsotakis said Greece would acquire 18 French-made Rafale warplanes in addition to frigates and helicopters whilst also hiring 15,000 new troops and pouring resources into the national defence industry. (Photo by Sakis MITROLIDIS / AFP) (Photo by SAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis speaks during a press conference on state defence, economy programme at the Thessaloniki Helexpo Forum on September 13, 2020 [SAKIS MITROLIDIS/AFP via Getty Images]

The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has denied allegations of deliberately holding the plane of Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias in the air for some time, on its way to enter Turkish airspace.

Spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry Hami Aksoy announced in a statement on Thursday that these allegations are false.

Aksoy added that Greece had asked Turkey to give authorisation for the minister’s plane to fly to and from Iraq via Turkish airspace.

He stated that the Turkish authorities had approved Greece’s request immediately and without delay.

The Turkish official continued: “When the plane carrying Minister Dendias broke down in Iraq, Greece sent another plane and asked Turkey for authorisation to use its airspace, and we granted the second plane permission without delay.”

READ: Turkey will give Greece ‘response it deserves’ in eastern Med dispute

He pointed out that the rumours about Turkey’s decision to hold Dendias’s plane in the air were generated by the Greek side and do not reflect the truth.

Aksoy suggested that the plane in question had taken off from Iraq without submitting a flight plan, explaining that flight plans are reported via the Eurocontrol system.

He stressed that the Turkish authorities had confirmed that the flight plan of the aircraft carrying the Greek foreign minister had not been communicated.

“When the aircraft arrived in our airspace, the flight plan was urgently requested from the Iraqi authorities, and after receiving a response from them, the plane completed its flight safely,” Aksoy added.

Aksoy asserted that it is not possible for any aircraft to fly without communicating its flight plan, which is a necessary safety measure.

He explained that his country had provided the Greek authorities with sufficient information on this matter.

READ: Official says Greece won’t hold talks with Turkey while survey ship in disputed waters

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Europe & RussiaGreeceIraqMiddle EastNewsTurkey
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