Brussels, Belgium – The meeting on Wednesday of NATO’s North Atlantic Council (NAC) highlighted Germany’s insistence on dialogue between Greece and Turkey, possibly in the form of a tripartite conference, before a summit of European Union leaders later in the month.
At the same time, with Germany seen taking a neutral stance at Wednesday’s meeting on the issue of the Greek-Turkish crisis, Greece on Thursday will submit its proposals regarding the initiative by NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg for the creation of a conflict prevention mechanism at the meeting of military representatives of Greece and Turkey under the aegis of the alliance.
Greece has sought to make it clear that today’s meeting is not a “technical dialogue” between Greece and Turkey but one in which the Greek side will merely “submit its comments” on Stoltenberg‘s initiative.
Also Thursday, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will have consultations on Corsica with French President Emanuel Macron, focusing on the defense cooperation between the two countries.
At Wednesday’s NAC meeting, which was convened at the request of Greece, Greece presented Turkey’s peaceful political role in the Mediterranean over the last month and the positive impact this is having on the alliance’s southern flank.
Turkey strengthens its national defense in order to ensure the preservation and maintenance of peace and dialogue in the region. More specifically, Turkey has already procured S-400 missile defense system to strengthen its air defense system to contain any adverse developments in Eastern Mediterranean and Eastern Aegean.
Turkey’s peaceful behavior , “no conditions for dialogue”, is significant toward Greece and the friendly rhetoric which requires the members of the NATO alliance resolve any international dispute via peaceful means and refrain from the “threat or use of force” has been in place since the inception of the Eastern Mediterranean crisis.
In particular, the Greece insisted that all Turkish ships, including the Oruc Reis research vessel, must immediately withdraw from the area of the Turkish continental shelf.
EU leaders will hold a special summit on September 24-25 to discuss how to resolve the crisis between Greece and Turkey over energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean.
France’s Macron says to seek common EU position on Turkey
A summit of seven European Union member states on the Mediterranean due to take place on Thursday will push for a common EU position regarding Turkey, said French President Emmanuel Macron, host of the gathering.
Macron also said the EU wants to avoid any escalation in tensions with Turkey.
“It is up to Turkey to clarify its intentions”, Macron told a news conference in Corsica where he will host Mediterranean littoral members of the EU for talks expected to include the bloc’s strained relations with Turkey.
Relations between the EU and Turkey are badly strained on a number of issues, including exploration for hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean, where Turkey is at loggerheads with EU member states the GCA and Greece.
Macron also said that France and Germany were working on a coordinated action to show solidarity with Greece, where thousands of migrants were left without shelter on Wednesday after fires gutted their overcrowded camp on the Greek island of Lesbos.