NATO: Athens, Ankara Responsible for Resolving Greek Soldiers Issue

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg (file photo)

NATO has taken a step back from the brewing crisis between Athens and Ankara over the fate of two Greek soldiers being held in a Turkish prison.

“This is an issue that must be resolved between Greece and Turkey,” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said. 

The NATO top official was in Ankara and spoke to state-run Anadolu Agency, urging the two countries to solve the problem themselves. The two Greek soldiers are in custody in Edirne after entering Turkish territory accidentally along the Evros border.

Stoltenberg also said that Turkey continues to be a valuable NATO ally.

“Turkey contributes to our collective security, missions and operations in many ways. I thank Turkey for this … The country’s concerns about its security are legitimate,” the NATO secretary general said.

Meanwhile, Greece’s Deputy Defense Minister Fotis Kouvelis assured the parents of Angelos Mitretodis and Dimitris Kouklatzis that the Greek government is working persistently and systematically for the two junior army officers to be released and return home soon.