Turkish Defense Minister Akar warns against alliances that harm NATO

Hulusi Akar

Turkey's Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said the formation of alliances outside of NATO would harm the organization, according to comments released on Saturday, after Greece and France agreed on a defense pact last month.

"We had a positive and constructive meeting with the Greek defense minister (Nikos Panagiotopoulos)," Hulusi Akar told reporters late Friday. "We expect to see the positive results of this meeting in the coming days."

He reiterated that provocative actions and rhetoric that ramp up tensions between the two nations "would not be beneficial."

On Greece's ratification of the defense pact with France earlier this month, Akar said that since all three countries are members of NATO, such alliances threaten to “harm both NATO and bilateral relations and undermine trust."

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said this month that the agreement will allow the two countries to come to each other's aid in the event of an external threat.

"Given that we are inside NATO, everyone should know that the search for various alliances outside of it will both cause harm to NATO and our bilateral relations, and shake confidence," Akar told reporters after NATO defense ministers met in Brussels this week.