Greek military chief: Syria's territory must be respected, all mercenaries and foreigners need to leave

Konstantinos Floros. Turkish media

The head of the Greek National Defence General Staff (GEETHA), General Konstantinos Floros, spoke about the common values ​​and common interests that determine the framework of defense cooperation between Greece and the U.S.

His comments were made during an online event organised by the American Hellenic Institute (AHI) in Washington.

Floros argued that the launch of the Strategic Dialogue in 2018 and updating the Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA) created a positive momentum which opened a new chapter in defense cooperation between the two countries.

Greek General Konstantinos Floros

Regarding the common strategic goals, Floros noted that Greece is a regional power that promotes peace and stability through the diverse network of cooperation that it has built.

As he explained, "Greece is a strong geopolitical player that is at the heart of all security issues and seeks U.S. support in order to provide stability in the Eastern and Central Mediterranean."

In this light, the head of GEETHA considered that it is in the interest of Washington to strengthen the operational capabilities of Greece so that it can fully fulfill its regional role.

The Greek general also expressed his satisfaction with statements made by American officials who recognise that islands have the same rights in the delineation of sea zones as the mainland, something Turkey contends against.

It is recalled that the State Department first publicly expressed this position on January 15, 2020.

Regarding Syria and Libya, Floros explained that Athens supports all efforts to find a political solution that respects the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the two countries.

In this context, he emphasised that to find a solution in Syria and Libya, all mercenaries and foreign fighters have to leave.

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Describing Turkey as a common denominator of instability in the crises plaguing the Eastern Mediterranean, Floros said Ankara took advantage of political instability in Libya to sign the illegal Turkish-Libyan Memorandum to steal Greek maritime space.

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Turkey's illegal maritime deal with Libya in an attempt to steal Greek maritime space.

"Unfortunately, our neighboring country has a strange, unilateral and a completely convenient interpretation of international law for its interests," he stressed.

As for the Turkish threat of casus belli if Greece extends its coastal zone to 12 miles in the Aegean, Floros described it as not serious.

The Greek general emphasised that the Greek government reserves the right to exercise its legal sovereignty whenever it wishes.

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