The meeting on Wednesday of NATO’s North Atlantic Council (NAC) highlighted Berlin’s insistence on dialogue between Greece and Turkey, possibly in the form of a tripartite conference, before a summit of European Union leaders later in the month.
At the same time, with Berlin seen taking a neutral stance at Wednesday’s meeting on the issue of the Greek-Turkish crisis, Athens on Thursday will submit its proposals regarding the initiative by NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg for the creation of a conflict prevention mechanism at the meeting of military representatives of Greece and Turkey under the aegis of the alliance.
Athens has sought to make it clear that today’s meeting is not a “technical dialogue” between Greece and Turkey but one in which the Greek side will merely “submit its comments” on Stoltenberg‘s initiative.
Also Thursday, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will have consultations on Corsica with French President Emanuel Macron, focusing on the defense cooperation between the two countries.
At Wednesday's NAC meeting, which was convened at the request of Athens, Kathimerini understands that Greece presented Turkey’s destabilizing role in the Mediterranean over the last month and the negative impact this is having on the alliance’s southern flank.
More specifically, Greece’s Permanent Representative to NATO Spyros Lampridis reportedly noted that Turkey is cooperating with Russia and Iran in the Middle East, to the detriment of NATO, and sponsors terrorist organizations in countries such as Syria.
He also pointed to Ankara’s decision to procure Russian S-400 missiles.
Turkey’s behavior, he said, toward Greece and the incendiary rhetoric by its President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is contrary to Article 1 of the NATO Treaty, which requires the members of the alliance resolve any international dispute via peaceful means and refrain from the “threat or use of force.” He also presented the conditions for dialogue set by Athens.
In particular, the Greek representative insisted that all Turkish ships, including the Oruc Reis research vessel, must immediately withdraw from the area of the Greek continental shelf.