NATO Treads Neutrality Path in Greek-Turkish Dispute

Jens Stoltenberg greets Greek defense chief Panos Kammenos

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg made a call on Thursday for the de-escalation of tension in the Aegean.

Asked about a recent incident involving Greek and Turkish patrol boats near the Imia islets, Stoltenberg said that it had dominated his meetings with the defense ministers of Greece and Turkey.

“I welcome the fact that the two prime ministers spoke on the phone and appeal for the continuation of contacts in order to avoid similar incidents in the future,” he said adding that both countries are “valuable allies”.

“We want to do our utmost to avoid real problems and the escalation of conflict and tension between them,” he said.

Earlier, Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos briefed Greece’s NATO allies on the incident at Imia and presented audiovisual material that prove Turkey’s provocation.

“The Imia islets are Greek, the Greek Coast Guard and Navy are there and we will not back down on issues of national sovereignty for any reason. We ask our allies in the EU and NATO to adopt a clear stance,” he told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (AMNA).

He also said that it was inconceivable that Turkey, a NATO ally, behaved like this toward another ally, in this case Greece.

(Source: AMNA)


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