Defense Minister Panos Kammenos caused his deputy minister to react on Monday after admitting that he proposed to the United States the establishment of a NATO airbase on Karpathos island.
Kammenos — chief of junior coalition partner ANEL — said that during his visit to Washington last week he proposed to the U.S. the formation of a NATO airbase on the island of the southeastern Aegean Sea. However, Deputy Defense Minister Costas Isichos — who belongs to SYRIZA — said in a newspaper interview that this is not a decision of the Greek government.
“Everyone has the right to express their opinion, often putting their own touch, but as SYRIZA’s representative in the ministry I want to be very clear that this is not a decision or a position of the current government,” Isichos said.
Kammenos said that he proposed the establishment of the base in order to facilitate NATO to combat the Islamic State jihadists who pose a threat to the region. Allegedly the defense minister also proposed the location of Kastellorizo, another southeastern Aegean island near the Turkish borders.