Diplomatic response to Turkish threats

Athens briefing partners and allies about Ankara’s latest escalation of ‘outrageous’ rhetoric

Diplomatic response to Turkish threats

Amid the continued escalation of Ankara’s incendiary rhetoric in pursuit of its revisionist agenda, Athens is determined not allow this to turn into a daily, passing news item, with Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias proceeding with the immediate and detailed briefing of all of Greece’s partners about the threats against its territorial integrity by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other senior officials in his government.

The threats unleashed by Ankara include military operations against the Greek islands and actions of “self-defense” in order to suppress terrorism.

Moreover, on Monday, following statements by Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu claiming that terrorists are being trained at the Lavrio refugee camp, there were yet more Turkish violations of Greek airspace.

Specifically, at 2.51 p.m. on Monday, a Turkish drone flew over Kinaros at 19,000 feet. Tellingly, UAVs carried out the vast majority of violations of national airspace on Monday.

As part of Athens’ response on the diplomatic front, sources told Kathimerini on Monday that Dendias will immediately send letters to all members of the United Nations Security Council, the UN secretary-general, as well as the NATO secretary-general.

According to the same sources, the letters simply quote the original statements by Turkish officials, without any further comment. These are so “outrageous” that no further comment is necessary, the sources said.

Speaking on Saturday, Erdogan threatened Greece that Turkey would “come suddenly one night.”

“Your occupying the islands does not bind us. When the time, the hour, comes, we will do what is necessary,” Erdogan said.

Dendias had already informed his European partners on Saturday, including EU High Representative Josep Borrell, and the US about the comments emanating from Turkey.

What’s more, Dendias thanked his Czech counterpart Jan Lipavsky, as the Czech presidency reacted immediately to the recent Turkish statements.

“Unacceptable threatening of EU member-states, like that addressed to Greece in President Erdogan’s recent public speech, is extremely unhelpful in this regard,” the Czech Foreign Ministry tweeted Saturday.

Erdogan’s statements were also described as a “source of great concern” by Peter Stano, the Commission’s foreign policy spokesman.

“The position of the EU has been and remains very clear: We expect Turkey to refrain from escalatory rhetoric and engage in promoting good-neighborly relations, not the opposite,” Stano said

He also noted that “Greece is a member-state of the EU and the sovereignty and integrity of a member-state must be respected.”

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