Honorable secretary-general of NATO,
Recently, you have been making statements about the crisis in Greek-Turkish relations. These statements appear to keep an equal distance between the two countries.
In reality, however, they are formally unacceptable, essentially favoring the aggressor to the detriment of the victim, and are ultimately detrimental to the Alliance.
The NATO secretary-general is an employee of the governments that appoint him and pay his salary from the money of their taxpayers. He does not formulate policy – this is the work of the member governments – and does not express positions without their approval. And obviously the Greek government has not approved these statements.
The obvious reason for the existence of any alliance is solidarity among its members. But here we have a NATO member, Turkey:
• Formally and publicly claiming territories of another member, Greece. Namely, 152 islands, islets and rocky outcrops in the eastern Aegean Sea.
• Performing daily overflights of warplanes over these territories.
• Having deployed against these islands the largest amphibious fleet in the Mediterranean and at the same time demanding their disarmament.
When you call on Greece to engage in dialogue with Turkey to resolve their differences, you are essentially asking Greece to make its territorial integrity the subject of negotiations with Turkey
When you, Mr Secretary-General, call on Greece to engage in dialogue with Turkey to resolve their differences, you are essentially asking Greece to make its territorial integrity the subject of negotiations with Turkey. And you ask this while representing an Alliance that was set up and still exists for this very reason, namely the protection of the territorial integrity of its members.
This is not equidistancing. This is encouraging the aggressor against the victim.
And this, in the end, does not lead to the strengthening of the Alliance’s cohesion but, rather, to its dissolution.
If, Mr Secretary-General, you do not possess the authority to intervene to remedy this unprecedented and unacceptable situation within the Alliance, I think the best thing to do is to remain silent until your term ends.
Petros G. Molyviatis
Petros G. Molyviatis, a retired career diplomat, was, successively, diplomatic adviser and director of the cabinet of Prime Minister Constantine Karamanlis (1974-80), secretary-general of the Greek Presidency (1980-85 and 1990-95), a member of Parliament (1996-2004) and foreign minister from 2004-6 and in two caretaker governments in 2012 and 2015. He is president of the Constantine G. Karamanlis Foundation.