NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was accused by Greece’s opposition on Tuesday of acting like “Erdogan’s Ambassador” to the Alliance.
PASOK-Movement for Change leader Nikos Androulakis criticized Stoltenberg for his statements on Turkey’s provocations against Greece and the objections he expresses regarding the accession of Sweden and Finland to the Alliance.
“Unfortunately, this is not the first time that Mr. Stoltenberg has chosen to justify the authoritarian Erdogan regime, even Turkey’s extortionate attitude towards Sweden and Finland,” Androulakis said, adding: “It should be absolutely understood by everyone that it will be the last. He can not be both Erdogan’s ambassador and NATO Secretary General.”
Stoltenberg adopts Turkey’s reservations on NATO Nordic enlargement
On Sunday, Stoltenberg said that the concerns expressed by Turkey on the accession of Finland and Sweden to the alliance are legitimate.
Speaking alongside Finnish President Niinistö, the Secretary General said that Ankara has “legitimate concerns. This is about terrorism, it’s about weapons exports.”
“We have to remember and understand that no NATO ally has suffered more terrorist attacks than Turkey,” said Stoltenberg.
NATO’s chief repeated the same argument during an interview with the Athens-Macedonia News Agency (AMNA) during which he added:
“We have to address the security concerns of all Allies, including Türkiye’s serious concerns about the terrorist group PKK, and find a united way forward. Türkiye has suffered grievously at the hands of the PKK, and has suffered more from terrorism than any other Ally has. So Türkiye has legitimate concerns, which all Allies should take seriously.”
NATO’s chief speaks of Greece-Turkey “disagreements”
In the same interview with AMNA, Stoltenberg refused to condemn Turkey for its provocations against Greece.
Ankara has been raising the tension in the region by repeated menacing statements against Greek sovereignty over Greek islands in the Aegean, by numerous provocative overflights of armed aircraft not only deep into Greek national airspace but literally over inhabited Greek islands, and by an increased flow of illegal migrant movements towards Greece’s borders once again.
“We should not be surprised that there are sometimes strong disagreements among our countries,” Stoltenberg said. “But diverse views and debate are an essential part of our democracies.”
“We urge Greece and Türkiye to solve their differences in the Aegean in a spirit of trust and Allied solidarity,” he added, meaning that there should be “restraint and moderation…and refraining from any actions or rhetoric that could escalate the situation.”
Stoltenberg’s statements on Greece and Turkey were condemned by the leader of the PASOK party.
“The provocations in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean, the threat of war against Greece, the questioning of our national sovereignty in the Eastern Aegean islands and the revisionist doctrine of the Turkish leadership are not just disagreements or ‘accidents,'” as he said in the interview.
The leader of PASOK pointed out that the NATO Secretary General, in fact, described Turkey, a country which violates human rights and the rule of law and functions as a destabilizing factor from the Caucasus to the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean, as a “committed ally.”
“[Turkey] is the only NATO member-state which has not imposed any sanctions against Russia since the start of the war,” he pointed out.