Greece’s PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis has briefed NATO on the recent upsurge in overflight violations by Turkey of its airspace in eastern Aegean.
Speaking in Athens on Thursday, the Greek Premier announced that he spoke to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and briefed him on Turkey’s provocative behavior.
“I made it clear to Mr. Stoltenberg that this behavior is unacceptable by a NATO partner in the SE wing of NATO. Turkey, with such challenges, is undermining the unity of NATO, at a time when we must remain united,” Mitsotakis said.
He further pledged that he will raise this issue in all international forums. “Turkey has not complied with the sanctions imposed by EU and NATO member states, and this is not the behavior of a state that wants to be an EU candidate,” Mitsotakis clarified.
Greece tells NATO, Turkey undermines progress made at the Istanbul meeting
He added that the violations by Turkey “undermine the progress we made during my meeting with President Erdogan.”
This was in reference to the meeting in Istanbul in March during which the two leaders agreed to reduction of tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, particularly in the wake of the war in Ukraine. The goal of both leaders is to provide stability in the region at this time, they both said.
They had also agreed that the two countries should work toward more effective communication in the future and avoid provocative rhetoric.
Greece issues new protest to Turkey
The Greek Foreign Ministry filed a new protest with the Turkish ambassador in Athens on Thursday. In the demarche, Foreign Affairs Secretary-General Themistoklis Demiris noted that “the continuing Turkish provocative and illegal behavior, which violates Greek sovereignty, is completely condemnable and unacceptable.”
“Apart from the obvious fact that it is a blatant violation of international law,” he added that “these actions create a climate of particular tension in the relations between the two countries with the unilateral responsibility of Turkey, which contradicts the efforts to improve this climate.”
On Wednesday, Greece launched a “strong” diplomatic protest against Turkey over the illegal overflights of Turkish jets in the eastern Aegean earlier in the day.
Earlier on Wednesday, a pair of Turkish F-16 fighter jets flew over the islands of Arki, Lipsi, Agathonisi, Samos, Fourni, and Oinousses, the Hellenic National Defense General Staff (GEETHA) announced.
GEETHA said that overall there were 118 violations on Greek airspace by Turkish jets on Wednesday.
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