Greek defense minister seeks more NATO support for securing borders

Greek defense minister seeks more NATO support for securing borders

Greek Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos urged the country’s NATO allies to contribute more to efforts for defending the country’s sea border against migrant flows from Turkey amid rumors of a new planned push from the neighboring country.

Speaking during a secure video conference of the alliance’s ministers on Wednesday, Panagiotopoulos said that Greece has already averted one major push at its land border in March that is seen as having been deliberately orchestrated by Ankara, and is seeking to secure the border in the Aegean Sea against a similar attempt, while grappling with the coronavirus crisis.

Wednesday’s meeting was held to discuss NATO’s response to the ongoing pandemic, with emphasis placed on the importance of countering growing disinformation and propaganda, as well as the long-term implications of the crisis for the alliance.

“The crisis has shown that our nations are resilient and united. Our militaries are already playing a key role in support of national civilian effort. And using NATO mechanisms, allies have been helping each other to save lives,” Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said.

NATO’s Supreme Allied Commander Europe General Tod Wolters is coordinating military support to deal with the virus, including matching requests for support with offers from allies and partners, and coordinating NATO’s strategic airlift capability, which is delivering hundreds of tons of urgently needed equipment to where it is needed quickly and efficiently, the alliance said on its website.

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