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Tension between Greece and Turkey “not an issue for NATO,” says GenSec Stoltenberg

Tensions between Greece and Turkey are “not an issue for NATO,” the General Secretary of the North Atlantic Alliance, Jens Stoltenberg in an interview with Turkish news agency Anadolu. Saying that both countries are “two highly valued NATO allies” Stoltenberg hailed the telephone conversation between Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Turkish counterpart, Binali Yildirim, after the Mirage 2000 crashed and the pilot was killed on Thusrday when returning form a mission to intercept Turkish F-16s violating Greek airspace.

‘Tension in Aegean should be resolved between Turkey, Greece’

Q: The tension between Turkey and Greece over the Aegean Sea continues to rise. There are reports that Greece has officially asked NATO to take a more active role in this context. What is NATO’s position on the rising tension between the two NATO allies?

Stoltenberg: Greece and Turkey are two highly valued NATO allies, they have been allies since 1952.

Both contribute to our collective defense. I expect that the differences we see on some issues are solved between Turkey and Greece in the spirit of good relations. In this context, I welcome that the PMs of both countries have recently held a phone conversation and that they have agreed to resolve these differences through dialogue. 

Q: So, NATO does not foresee involvement?

Stoltenberg: No, it’s not an issue for NATO, this is something that has to be addressed between Turkey and Greece. 

Commenting on a wide range of issues including the agenda of his visit, the Turkish-led Operation Olive Branch, the fight against terrorism, and Syria, Stoltenberg emphasized the importance of Turkey as a valuable strategic ally.

The interview was given ahead of Stoltenberg’s visit to Turkey on May 16th.

PS No surprise here. No comment. Members need only to contribute to the NATO, while the Alliance sits back and makes plans for the safety of the whole planet….

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2 comments

  1. At least NATO has decided to mind it’s own business for once. Or maybe, instead of throwing those Mother of ALL Bombs (MOABs) on poor civilians in Afghanistan they should use them to obliterate every uninhabited island in the Aegean within 50km of the presently recognized Greek-Turkish border. Then maybe there would be less useless pieces of rock to fight over.

  2. There really is little that NATO can do to help mollify the ravings of the megalomaniac currently in charge of Turkey, and no matter what they do it would be impossible to please both Greece and Turkey at the same time, it’s thus more sensible for NATO to do nothing. What would be interesting would be NATO’s reaction if Turkey ‘attacked’ Greece in some way. According to NATO policy ‘an attack against one member is an attack against all’….