The partnership between the US and Greece in eastern Macedonia and Thrace “is not a threat to Turkey,” the US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt insisted Thursday, reiterating that the new Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA) is another step in bilateral relations which are “at a peak, but not at the summit.”
Pyatt’s remarks were made amid mounting concern and speculation among Turkish media and politicians over the use of the port of Alexandroupolis by US troops and that it may be targeting the neighboring country.
Speaking in Thessaloniki where he participated in the “Thessaloniki Summit 2021, Pyatt said the the US consider Greece to be a country with which it shares common strategic interests.
Based on the new MDCA, in addition to the port of Alexandroupolis in northern Greece which is used to move American troops from Greece to Eastern Europe and vice versa, a military camp on the outskirts of the city will also be used by US armed forces.
The US, he said, still remains interested in the region of Southeast Europe, noting that relations with Europe as a whole were becoming “even more important” and dismissed claims Washington’s focus is shifting away from the continent and its wider region.
Meanwhile Thursday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, in reference to Turkey’s activities in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean, that his country is defending the legal rights and interests of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots based on international law.
In his speech to the budget committee of the Turkish Parliament, he reiterated, in violation of the internationally agreed parameters, that any settlement on the island can only be on the basis of two sovereign states.