The sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries must be protected, the State Department noted on Thursday, in response to a question from a Turkish journalist regarding the alleged “militarization of the Greek islands” in the Aegean.
At a regular briefing in Washington, a Turkish journalist asked State Department spokesman Ned Price: “Greece is increasingly arming the islands just miles away from Turkey that are limited under certain agreements. What is the US position under – on this topic, and do you endorse this militarization of islands?”
Price replied: “Our position on this is the same one you heard a couple weeks ago, and the sovereignty and territory – territorial integrity of all countries should be respected and protected.”
He reiterated the US government’s firm commitment to resolving the dispute diplomatically and to avoid provocative rhetoric that could lead to a resurgence of tensions.
“We continue to encourage our NATO allies – Greece and Turkey in this case – to work together to maintain peace and security in the region and to resolve their differences diplomatically. We urge our allies to avoid rhetoric that could further raise tensions. Greece and Turkey, of course, are both strong partners. They’re key NATO allies to the United States, and we will continue to urge both of them to de-escalate tensions.”