‘Unacceptable provocation’: Greece-Turkey spar over airspace | News

Greece and Turkey, NATO allies, are nonetheless at odds over a bunch of points akin to maritime rights, airspace, and ethnically break up Cyprus.

Greece has accused Turkey of undermining NATO unity by violating its airspace with fighter jets, prompting an offended Turkish response that blamed Athens for “provocative” violations of its personal airspace.

Greece’s international ministry mentioned it protested to the Turkish ambassador in Athens on Wednesday over a sequence of overflights within the Aegean Sea, saying they had been illegal and an “unacceptable provocation”.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis mentioned on Thursday that he knowledgeable NATO Secretary-Common Jens Stoltenberg of the problem.

“I made it clear to the secretary-general that any such behaviour by a NATO ally … is unacceptable,” Mitsotakis mentioned.

“It undermines European safety in addition to the unity … of NATO at a time when amongst NATO members it’s indispensable for all of us to stay united as we face the continued aggression of Russia in Ukraine.”

A authorities spokesman mentioned earlier that following the overflights, the setting was not good for an anticipated spherical of confidence-building talks between the 2 international locations.

In a press release responding to Greece, the Turkish international ministry mentioned Athens’s feedback didn’t replicate actuality, Greece was instigating tensions, and the Turkish Air Power responded to the “provocations” in accordance with engagement guidelines.

“Greek Air Power have carried out provocative flights close to our coasts on April 26-28, and have repeatedly violated our airspace over Datca, Dalaman and Didim,” it mentioned, referring to resort cities on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast.

“Whereas Greece is the aspect instigating tensions, accusing our nation with baseless claims isn’t consistent with the optimistic agenda and good neighbourliness that was achieved lately,” it added, calling on Athens to “sincerely help” the confidence-building mechanisms inside NATO and bilaterally.

‘Cease instantly’

Greece and Turkey, NATO allies, got here to the brink of battle in 1996 over a abandoned Aegean islet. Bilateral ties have improved over time regardless of occasional pressure, most lately over vitality assets within the Mediterranean.

The neighbours are nonetheless at odds over a bunch of points, akin to competing claims over their respective continental cabinets within the Mediterranean, maritime rights and airspace, the standing of some Aegean islets, and ethnically break up Cyprus.

Ankara repeated its name to carry bilateral talks on all the problems of rivalry with Greece on Thursday, together with over airspace.

Mitsotakis, who met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan final month, mentioned Turkey’s latest stance on overflights undermines progress made in that assembly and they should “cease instantly”.

Turkey, he added, has not aligned with any sanctions taken by the European Union. “This isn’t the standard behaviour of a rustic aspiring to hitch the EU household,” he mentioned.

On the weekend, Turkish International Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu mentioned Greece and Cyprus had been the one Western international locations vital of Turkey’s stance on sanctions towards Russia, saying Athens was involved Russian vacationers would decide to vacation in Turkey due to this.

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