Amidst Ankara’s recent, persistent demands that Greece’s Eastern Aegean islands be demilitarised, a US State Department official has told Hellas Journal that Greece’s sovereignty over the islands is not in question.

Asked to comment on Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s declaration yesterday that if Greece does no demilitarise its islands then sovereignty over them will be placed in question, the US official said that, “The sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries must be respected and protected. Greece’s sovereignty over these islands is indisputable.”

Cavusoglu had said that, “We have sent two letters to the UN because Greece is violating the demilitarised status of the islands. These islands were ceded to Greece under the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne and the [1947] Treaty of Paris, on condition that they be demilitarised. However, Greece began to violate that status in the 1960s.”

“In the letter we wrote, we noted that Greece is violating the terms of the treaties. These islands were ceded under certain conditions, and if Greece does not change its stance, then sovereignty over these islands is questionable, because the terms are being violated” said the Turkish foreign minister.

“If necessary, we shall issue our final warnings and thereafter the discussion begins,” he declared.