Alternate Defence Minister Fotis Kouvelis rejected the assertions of Defence Minister Panos Kammenos’ that the capture of the two Greek army officers was pre-planned and approved by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
It is not the first time that Kouvelis has publicly disagreed with Kammenos’ views.
Kouvelis was asked by ANT1 television regarding Kammemos’ allegation that the two officers were essentially abducted on orders from Erdogan.
“I do not have evidence that proves that there was a pre-planned arrest of the two Greek officers,” Kouvelis said.
Kammenos had been categorical about his allegations against Erdogan.
“Erdogan pre-planned it. He wanted them to be arrested and taken hostage and to secure their exchange for the eight [Turkish officers granted asylum in Greece]. He had organised their arrest in advance,” he had said.
Kouvelis underlined that the release of the officers is a very positive development, and that the decision of the Turkish judiciary signals a change in Erdogan’s political rhetoric.
Kouvelis said that he did not expect that the ordeal of the officers would end so soon.
He attributed the development to the intense diplomatic efforts of the government, and most importantly those of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.