President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopios Pavlopoulos, on Sunday, from the coastal town of Nafpaktos, sent a message to neighbouring Turkey, that the European Union will not tolerate Ankara’s arbitrary actions and the violations of international law, such as its military operations in Syria, which undermine peace and stability in the strife-torn Middle East. Especially when these actions pose a threat to the EU’s borders and territories, as delineated by the territory and borders of Greece and Cyprus, he added.
He also noted that the Greeks “when and however times this is required, will impose the full and sincere respect of international and European law in its entirety, and do so with the support of our Allies in NATO and our partners in the EU. We will also do this in terms of unbroken unity, as we have shown every time we defended our national issues and our national rights.”
Addressing the major powers, the president said that critical, international situations such as that occurring at the present time, destroy democracy and marginalise people and fundamental human rights.
He warned that Turkey’s “quaint” but also dangerous “imperial fantasies” will meet the appropriate response and also that they undermine any prospect of favourable developments in Turkey’s path to EU accession and its relations with the West, in general.
In recent developments, the Kurds in Syria say the Syrian government has agreed to send its army to the northern border to try to halt Turkey’s offensive against them.
The announcement by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) that they had reached an agreement with the Iranian and Russian backed government of President Bashar al-Assad further undermined the prospect of any continued U.S. presence in the country.
“An agreement has been reached with the Syrian government — whose duty it is to protect the country’s borders and preserve Syrian sovereignty — for the Syrian Army to enter and deploy along the Syrian-Turkish border to help the SDF stop this aggression” by Turkey, the SDF said in a statement.
Around 800 people with suspected links to Islamic State have reportedly fled a displacement camp in north-east Syria, local officials have said, raising fears that the Turkish offensive against Kurdish forces in the area could lead Isis to regain strength.
The news came at the same time the US ordered all 1,000 US troops to withdraw “as safely and quickly as possible” from the region after learning that the Turkish operation was likely to extend further than Ankara’s proposed 32km “safe zone” on the border between the two countries.
*Images by Reuters