NATO–Greece issue joint statement on Turkey

mitsotakis and Stoltenberg

 mitsotakis and Stoltenberg

Following their meeting on Thursday, Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg issued a joint statement condemning the breach of borders and the violation of treaties, in a clear reference to Turkey’s provocations in the Aegean and in Syria.

The Greek PM added that it is the obligation of the international community and NATO to exert every influence towards a ceasefire in Syria to prevent escalation and new migration flows and avoid the further loss of lives.

"We agreed that NATO must adapt to these new facts in order to maintain its principles, their effectiveness and their authority, but also to continue to exercise both its deterrent and its defensive ability," Mitsotakis said, also noting that the forceful displacement of populations, changing demographic circumstances, violates international law and is unworthy of modern cultures.

"We expect all nations to comply with international law," while "it is not NATO's role to take sides on international issues," added Stoltenberg, referring to the alliance's policy of an equidistance towards Turkey and Greece.

Stoltenberg further said that Greek armed forces play a special role within the alliance, as the country fulfils its NATO obligation to contribute 2% of its GDP to national defence. He added that the focus of their discussion was security and stability, and examining how the alliance could help manage irregular migration flows.

The NATO Secretary General then recommended self-restraint to Turkey during its military offensive in Syria so that human suffering may be reduced, then he emphasised that countries must help another in the war against ISIS.