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NATO official calls for resolving Turkiye-Greece differences through diplomatic means

December 20, 2022 at 6:55 pm

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on 29 and 30 November in Brussels, Belgium on November 25, 2022 [Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu Agency]

NATO on Tuesday called for resolving differences between Turkiye and Greece through diplomatic means, reports Anadolu Agency.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency after Greek aircraft tried to interfere in a NATO training mission over the Aegean Sea, a NATO official said that Turkiye and Greece are valuable allies and work together as part of NATO.

“The Mediterranean (Sea) is of vital importance for NATO and we urge Greece and Turkiye to solve any differences in the Aegean (Sea) by diplomatic means and in a spirit of allied solidarity.”

Reminding the establishment of a “military de-confliction mechanism” in 2020 between the two countries in order to reduce the risk of incidents in the Eastern Mediterranean, the official said: “At a time when Russia’s war on Ukraine has shattered peace in Europe, it is even more important for Allies to stand together.”

Earlier on Tuesday, the Turkish Defense Ministry said that Ankara gave the “necessary response” after Greek aircraft tried to interfere in a NATO training mission conducted in international airspace over the Aegean Sea.

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“Combat and support aircraft of our Air Force and the AWACS aircraft commissioned by NATO performed the NEXUS ACE training mission, which was notified to all allies 24 hours in advance, in international airspace over the Aegean Sea on Monday,” the ministry said in a statement.

Although Greek aircraft tried to prevent the mission, the Turkish Air Force continued its task for the successful completion of the mission, it added.

Turkiye, a NATO member for over 70 years, has complained of repeated provocative actions and rhetoric by Greece in the region in recent months, including arming islands near Turkish shores that are demilitarised under treaty obligations. It says that such moves frustrate its good-faith efforts for peace.