US calls on Turkey to avoid threats against NATO allies
The US State Department urged all NATO allies to avoid threats and provocative rhetoric, at a time when unity and cooperation is needed the most.
Commenting over Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent remarks threatening to strike Greece, “We regret this escalation of provocative statements,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said.
“All that an escalation of rhetoric will do is to is to raise tensions and to distract us from the unity of purpose, the unity of purpose that we need to confront any number of challenges,” he said during a press briefing in Washington on Monday.
Erdogan on Sunday said Ankara would strike Athens unless it “stays calm”.
“If you [Greece] don’t stay calm, if you provoke, if you try to buy something from the United States for the Greek islands, a country like Turkey will not wait,” Erdogan said.
The tensions between Turkey and Greece who have long been at odds over a string of issues, have build up lately over the status of the Aegean islands, where Ankara blames Athens for “illegally” militarizing its islands in violation of international treaties.
Turkey says the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne and the 1947 Treaty of Paris require Greece’s eastern Aegean islands to remain demilitarized. Greece says the restrictions no longer apply.