Merkel says all EU countries have obligation to support Greece against Turkish aggression

As tensions in the East Mediterranean have been escalating since Turkey began violating the continental shelves of Greece and Cyprus over two weeks ago, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said EU countries have an obligation to support Greece and Cyprus.

The Chancellor added that she had already discussed the dispute between Athens and Ankara “intensely” with French President Emmanuel Macron, Sputnik reported.

Merkel also confirmed that Germany is “committed to” preventing an escalation of the dispute between the two countries over the eastern Mediterranean and has called for jointly resolving the conflict over Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone.

“We support Greece and do not believe that there should be a further escalation in its relations with Turkey,” Merkel told a news conference.

The German Chancellor clearly stated that European countries have the obligation to support Greece and noted that when she talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, she will inform him of the attitude of Europe towards Turkey.

However, unwilling to critically condemn Turkey, Merkel also said that disputes between Greece and Turkey over maritime zones must be resolved through dialogue, while emphasizing that Turkey is an important partner and ally in NATO.

Merkel’s rhetorical position in favor of Greece and against Germany’s Turkish allies comes just 24 hours after the phone calls between American President Donald Trump and to both Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Erdoğan. In fact, the American president contacted the Greek Prime Minister twice about the current Greek-Turkish issues.

In the second phone call – which is also confirmed by Maximos Palace – the U.S. President briefed Mitsotakis on the content of his conversation with Erdoğan.

It is reported that the U.S. President expressed to Mitsotakis his desire to de-escalate the tension. It should be noted that on Thursday morning, government spokesman Stelios Petsas, while briefing journalists, referred to the telephone communication between the two leaders.

“As you know, U.S. President Donald Trump called Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis yesterday to discuss the latest developments in the Southeastern Mediterranean. In their discussion, the Prime Minister raised the issue of the destabilizing actions of Turkey with the American President, which endanger peace and stability in the wider region and test the cohesion of NATO. At the same time, he stressed that Greece is ready to contribute substantially to the de-escalation, provided that Turkey immediately stops its provocative actions,” he said.

It is recalled that the statement issued by the White House stressed that “President Trump reaffirmed that Greece and Turkey must commit to dialogue, which is the only way to resolve their differences.”

The same statement also said that the two leaders discussed important bilateral and regional issues.