American Hellenic Institute (AHI) President Nick Larigakis has written to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo out of concern the international community will lose its focus on “Turkey’s propensity to cause instability in the region” amid the coronavirus pandemic.
As conditions within Turkey deteriorate due to the spread of the coronavirus and other factors – including a reeling economy – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will “seek to instigate instability and disruption in the Eastern Mediterranean as it pertains to Greece and Cyprus as well as other partners in the region as a means to export Turkey’s domestic problems abroad,” Larigakis said in a letter Tuesday.
Larigakis urged Washington to continue to be engaged in the Eastern Mediterranean and on the Greek-Turkish border, especially as tensions remain elevated.
Larigakis pointed to recent reports of migrants seeking to cross the Evros river and allegedly using tear gas grenades supplied by Turkish security forces against Greek security forces.
“We [the United States] must be prepared to implement such measures as are necessary and proper to diffuse these tensions,” he said.