US denies partiality between Turkey and Greece

US denies partiality between Turkey and Greece
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US envoy to Turkey said Washington’s security cooperation with NATO Allies Turkey and Greece does not come from a position of partiality or imbalance towards any single partner

The United States does not take sides between Turkey and Greece in regard of security cooperation, said Jeff Flake, the US ambassador to Turkey.

"I've been asked recently if there has been a shift in US security posture in the Aegean. The answer is no. Our security cooperation with our NATO Allies Türkiye and Greece does not come from a position of partiality or imbalance towards any single partner,” he said in a written statement on Tuesday.

Last week, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu blamed the United States for upsetting its balance over its relations with Turkey and Greece. 

“The scales of the US were broken. The United States should not take sides among the allies,” Cavusoglu said urging the Washington administration to backtrack from such “mistake.”

Cavusoğlu’s statement came after Turkish officials released drone footage, allegedly showing US-supplied armored vehicles being carried out of ships on Greek islands of Lesbos and Samos.

Summoning the Greek ambassador to Turkey last month, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said the deployment was another violation of Greece's obligations under international law. Turkey also lodged protest to the United States, urged the Washington administration to respect the status of Eastern Aegean islands and to take measures to prevent the use of its weapons there.

.Turkey and Greece, both NATO allies, have long been at odds over a string of issues, including the status of the Aegean islands. Turkey accuses Greece for militarizing its islands in violation of international treaties.

The collective efforts are now focused on putting an end to Russia’s war in Ukraine, Flake said.

The US envoy said Turkey continues to provide valuable support for the issue, “notably advancing food security and fostering dialogue between Ukraine and Russia.”

The defense cooperation between Washington and Athens also strengthens NATO’s eastern flank in support of Ukraine and of other NATO Allies in Central and Eastern Europe, he said.

“Our overriding objective, shared with our NATO Allies Türkiye and Greece, is peace, security, and stability throughout the region," Flake said.