Greece set to respond Erdogan’s “threats” on diplomatic front

Greece set to respond Erdogan’s “threats” on diplomatic front
Update: 06 September 2022 12:00
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The top Greek diplomat will immediately send letters to all UNSC members, the UN Secretary-General and the NATO Secretary-General

Greece will proceed with immediate and detailed briefing of all its partners about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) government’s senior officials’ “threats” against its territorial integrity, Kathimerini reported on Monday.

As part of Athens’ response on the diplomatic front, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias will send letters to all members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, the Greek newspaper said, citing unidentified sources.

The letters will just quote the original statements by Turkish officials, without any further comment, according to the same sources, it said.

“These are so outrageous that no further comment is necessary,” the sources told Kathimerini. 

Erdogan on Saturday said that Turkish forces could target Greece any moment if necessary. Commenting over Turkish allegations that Greece locked onto Turkish F-16s with Russian air defense systems stationed on the island of Crete last month, “You occupying the islands doesn’t bind us. When the time comes, we’ll do what’s necessary. As we say, we may come down suddenly one night,” Erdogan said.

Dendias also thanked his Czech counterpart Jan Lipavsky, as the Czech Presidency of the European Union reacted on the same day to Erdogan’s statements, Kathimerini said. 

The Czech Republic that holds the EU Presidency since July, slammed Erdogan’s remarks against Greece as “unacceptable” via a Twitter post on Saturday.

One of the goals of the Czech Presidency is to foster the dialogue between the EU and Turkey, the Czech Foreign Ministry said.

“Unacceptable threatening of EU member states, like the one addressed to Greece in President Erdogan’s recent public speech, is extremely unhelpful in this regard,” it said.

EU foreign affairs spokesperson Peter Stano on Monday also described Erdogan’s statements as “hostile” and as a source of “concern.” 

“The position of the EU has been and remains very clear. We expect Turkey to refrain from escalatory rhetoric and engage in promoting good neighborly relations, not the opposite,” Stano said.

Turkish Defense Ministry accused Greece of locking onto Turkish fighter jets with Russian S-300s on Aug. 23. Turkish F-16s were harassed during engaged in missions in international airspace over the eastern Mediterranean, according to Defense Ministry officials. 

Greece has denied the allegations, saying that it will not “join Turkey in the slide containing outrageous and beyond-all-limits remarks and threats, taking place on a daily basis.”

“We will immediately inform our allies and partners regarding the content of the provocative statements of the last few days, in order to make clear who is undermining our alliance’s cohesion at a particularly dangerous juncture. At the same time, we will continue to serve as a pillar of stability and security for the wider region, on the basis of the rules of International Law and the International Law of the Sea," Greek Foreign Ministry said in a written statement on Saturday.