Greece to back NATO-led campaign against ISIS, Kammenos says

Greece will join the United States and other NATO members in efforts to defeat militants of Islamic State (ISIS), an issue which is expected to be discussed in the summit of the transatlantic alliance in Brussels next month, Defense Minister Panos Kammenos said on Friday.

Speaking after a meeting with US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland in Washington, Greece’s coalition partner suggested that the stability of the debt-wracked nation was crucial in containing the ISIS threat.

“It is important that the alliance sees that the issue of Islamic State is growing and that it requires stabilizing Greece by all available means. This, I believe, will soon mean good news,” Kammenos said in an apparent reference to Athens’s lingering debt talks with foreign creditors.

He also defended the leftist-led government’s overture to Moscow, which has raised eyebrows among western officials, saying that Greece’s bilateral ties with all states “are transparent and public.”

Kammenos, a right-wing nationalist, said he reiterated the government’s position on the Cyprus issue that the withdrawal of Turkish occupation troops on the divided island is a condition for a peace settlement.

Meanwhile, Greece’s Foreign Ministry on Friday criticized the election of the Albanian parliament’s new deputy speaker, Shpetim Idrizi.

“The choice of persons who are agents of irredentist views, and who are linked directly with Europe’s repugnant fascist and Nazi past, to fill high positions in the highest institutional organs of the state does not promote friendship, cooperation, stability and good neighborly relations between the countries of Southeast Europe, and nor is it conducive to Albania’s European perspective,” the ministry said in a statement.

Idrizi is leader of the nationalist Party for Justice, Integration and Unity (PDIU) which has been advocating the repatriation of Cham Albanians expelled from Greece’s Epirus region at the end of World War II following claims they had collaborated with the Nazis. Athens considers the matter closed.

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