World Bulletin/News Desk
A senior Greek diplomat has said his country had no concluded deal with Turkey over the construction of a mosque in Athens, the only European Union capital without an Islamic prayer house, adding that the Greek government would use its own financial resources to build one.
Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Konstantinos Tsiaras said Friday Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan had not signed any agreements during a bilateral meeting in Doha, Qatar, late last month on the construction of a mosque.
In the January 20 meeting in Doha, Erdogan told his the Greek counterpart that the Turkish government might cover costs of a mosque in Athens - if the Greek government sanctioned it.
"The two prime minister did not sign any agreement on any issue in the Doha meeting," Tsiaras said in response to a parliamentary question submitted by far-right Golden Dawn lawmakers.
"There is no such topic on the agenda of the Turkish-Greek relations. And Athens has no intention of engaging in a debate with Turkey over this specific issue or any similar ones."
An estimated 500,000 Muslims live in Greece, with about 40 percent of them in the capital. Athens has around 100 makeshift mosques and the Greek government has long delayed plans to build an official one.
The country has not allowed construction of a mosque since 1883, the year when the Ottomans evacuated the city.Last Mod: 10 Şubat 2013, 13:57