Biden calls for pressure on Turkey to stop provocations against Greece


US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden on Tuesday called on President Donald Trump's administration to put pressure on Turkey to halt its provocations against Greece and urged Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to undo his decision to reconvert Hagia Sophia into a mosque.

"The Trump administration must press Turkey to refrain from any further provocative actions in the region against Greece, including threats of force, to create the space for diplomacy to succeed," Biden said in a statement.

"I also call on Turkish President Erdogan to reverse his recent decision to convert the Hagia Sophia to a mosque and to return this treasure to its former status as a museum, ensuring equal access for all, including the Orthodox faithful."

Biden also said he supports NATO efforts to defuse tensions between Greece and Turkey, and that agreements to establish a military deconfliction mechanism and resume diplomatic talks are steps in the right direction.

The former Vice President’s statement was sent to the newspaper National Herald.

[Reuters, Kathimerini]