first_img Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagram The defence ministry has denied media reports that the United States has requested the use of military bases on Greek soil as part of a possible military intervention in Syria, the semiofficial ANA-MPA said on Tuesday. “Washington never submitted to the Ministry of National Defence, officially or unofficially, any such request for Greek assistance,” ANA quoted the anonymous source as saying. The denial follows reports in Kathimerini late on Monday that the US had asked Athens, a Nato ally, to provide permission for US military ships and aircraft to pass through Greek territory as well as use of the Souda Bay and Kalamata military bases. However, commentators point out that the defence ministry denial does not rule out that an approach could have been made through Nato channels. The defence ministry denial was the fourth ANA wire on the situation on Tuesday, amid confusion as to whether the ministry or government in general had dismissed the claims. The first one, issued around 11am, said the defence ministry dismissed the claims. That was followed by a second wire, at around 11.30am, that said the denial was in the name of the government, removing any mention of the defence ministry. Then, at 11.45, a third wire was published, removing the anonymous quotation from the dNo efence ministry source. Finally, at noon, a fourth – and final – wire was published, stating that the only valid statement was the one from the anonymous defence ministry source. Venizelos: Geneva II option must be kept open Meanwhile, the foreign ministry on Tuesday announced that Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos will meet the British ambassador, John Kittmer, at the ministry at 1pm today. Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, Venizelos, while emphatically condemning the recent use of chemical weapons in Syria, said that all political avenues should be exhausted in relation to Syria. He said that he had spoken to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and his French counterpart.“We want to unequivocally condemn the use of chemical weapons, which is a heinous crime, affects every humanitarian ideal and offends international law. This reaction must be pure and absolute,” Venizelos said. He said all political possibilities to solve the problem must be kept open, including the one to hold the so-called Geneva II peace conference for the Middle East, “through which a final and lasting solution can be given to the problem of Syria, which is a crucial country in the region”. “We are preparing in every way and we are in contact with all European and other countries, because we have very close cooperation with the countries of the Arab world.” Source: EnetEnglishlast_img read more