US says Erdogan’s remarks against Greece “unhelpful”
The United States said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s latest remarks against Greece are “unhelpful,” without naming him.
“At a time when Russia has again invaded a sovereign European state, statements that could raise tensions between NATO allies are particularly unhelpful,” a State Department spokesperson said, in response to a question about Erdogan’s statements, Kathimerini reported on Wednesday.
“The sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries should be respected and protected. Greece’s sovereignty over these islands is not in question,” the spokesperson said.
The tensions between Turkey and Greece skyrocketed since Ankara accused Athens of harassing Turkish fighter jets with Russian S-300s on Aug. 23, during engaged in missions in international airspace over the eastern Mediterranean. Greek authorities denied the allegations.
Commenting on the issue on the weekend, Erdogan said Turkish forces could target Greece any moment if necessary.
“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, prompting immediate reactions from Greece and international community.
“The United States continues to encourage our NATO allies to work together to maintain peace and security in the region, and to resolve differences diplomatically,” the US State Department spokesperson added.