With France and Germany having denounced Turkey’s aggression toward Greece, the US State Department and the European Commission reiterated their solid stance on the issue on Thursday.
Specifically, a State Department spokesperson, responding to a question from the Hellas Journal website about the move by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu to threaten that Ankara will challenge the sovereignty of Greek islands, said that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries must be respected and protected.
“Greece’s sovereignty over these islands is unquestionable,” the spokesperson said, reiterating that Washington firmly encourages NATO allies Greece and Turkey to work together to maintain peace and security in the region and to resolve differences diplomatically.
He also called for an end to provocative rhetoric that could escalate tensions, saying, “Greece and Turkey are both strong allies and key allies of the United States in NATO.”
Meanwhile, in response to a question by Greek MEP Manolis Kefalogiannis regarding Turkish overflights above Greek islands with fighter jets and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the European Commission said that it is fully aware of the recent increase in violations of Greek airspace by Turkish fighter jets, as well as by UAVs.
It also noted that “military aircraft flights over Greek residential areas are a violation of international law, while Turkey must explicitly commit itself to good-neighborly relations, international agreements and the peaceful settlement of disputes by appealing, if necessary, to the International Court of Justice.”
The Commission concluded that it will continue to urge Turkey to cease all threats and actions that harm good-neighborly relations, and to respect the sovereignty of all EU member-states, their territorial waters and their national airspace.