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Greece slams 'unnamed' NATO member's threat to use force against French navy

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks to the press on the agenda of NATO Defense Ministers' Meeting in Brussels, Belgium on 12 February 2020. [Dursun Aydemir - Anadolu Agency]
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg speaks to the press on the agenda of NATO Defense Ministers' Meeting in Brussels, Belgium on 12 February 2020. [Dursun Aydemir - Anadolu Agency]

The Greek Minister of National Defence, Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, has rejected the threat to use force by an Allied ship against another Allied member, which took place in the Mediterranean Sea last week.

The Greek Defence Ministry media office said that Panagiotopoulos described the incident as "not only problematic, but unheard of", adding that "similar behaviour undermining NATO's cohesion and solidarity is not an alliance with strong ties and common values, but an opportunistic group of individual interests".

The minister was referring to allegations that Turkish warships threatened to use force against a French frigate called the Courbet, which was part of a NATO monitoring mission called Sea Guardian, on 10 June.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said NATO defence ministers addressed thein cedent in a meeting yesterday.

"We have made sure that NATO military authorities are investigating the incident to bring full clarity to what happened," he said.

"A prerequisite for maintaining NATO cohesion, in order to be able to carry out its mission, is the full compliance of the allies with international law, the principle of good neighbourliness and the obligations arising from the founding treaty of NATO," Panagiotopoulos said.

READ: Armenian provocation continues to threaten regional peace

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