Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou charged today that Turkey is manufacturing a nuclear bomb in cooperation with Pakistan, and said this poses the major obstacle to creating a nuclear-free Balkan zone, an idea supported by Greece, Yugoslavia, Bulgaria and Romania.
Addressing a meeting in Athens of socialist European Parliament deputies, Papandreou also reiterated his government's determination to remove all nuclear weapons from Greece. He said this was nonnegotiable and "totally independent" of the future of U.S. bases in Greece, on which bilateral talks will begin within a month.
"We are working very hard" on Balkan denuclearization, Papandreou said. "The climate in Yugoslavia is positive, in Romania it is positive, Bulgaria has itself proposed the same thing. The only problem that I can see is Turkey, which seems unwilling. And this is in part because it is constructing a nuclear bomb in cooperation with Pakistan."
Papandreou did not give any evidence for his allegations of Pakistani-Turkish cooperaton on nuclear weapons. Western diplomats here said Washington warned its NATO allies, including Greece and Turkey, that Pakistan might seek to buy equipment used in nuclear weapons production.
There are believed to be short-range nuclear missiles and mines stationed in Greece under the terms of a 1959 U.S.-Greek agreement.