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In Cyprus, Panagiotopoulos pledges defense of sovereignty

In Cyprus, Panagiotopoulos pledges defense of sovereignty

Greece combines diplomatic leverage and military deterrence to counter threats to its sovereign territory, Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos has said amid renewed tensions with regional rival Turkey.

“It’s good to have international law on your side, it is even better to have modern arms systems with a strong deterrence power,” Panagiotopoulos told state TV RIK. He spoke during a visit to Cyprus on the 62nd anniversary since the declaration of its independence from British rule.

Following years of forced savings during the 2010-2018 debt crisis, Greece has embarked on a multibillion-dollar spending spree to bolster its armed forces.

Panagiotopoulos said Greece wants to have a constructive dialogue with Turkey based on international law, although he sees little chance of Recep Tayyip Erdogan shedding his trigger-happy rhetoric. The Turkish president seems to believe not in the strength of right, “but the right of the strong,” he said.