Germany's Scholz calls on Turkey to refrain from provoking Nato ally Greece

1/6/2022 10:07:00 PM

Germany's Scholz calls on Turkey to refrain from provoking Nato ally Greece

https://str.sg/w2tnANKARA (REUTERS) - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has called on Turkey to exercise restraint towards Greece as tensions between the two countries have flared, a German government spokesman said on Wednesday (June 1)."The Chancellor is of the opinion that, given the current situation, it is necessary for all Nato allies to stand together and refrain from provocations among themselves," the spokesman told a regular news conference in Berlin.

"Invading Greek airspace and flying over Greek islands is not okay, it seems counterproductive and against the spirit of the alliance," added the spokesman.Greece and Turkey have traded accusations of airspace violations in recent weeks.Turkey and Greece, both Nato allies, have long been at odds over a host of issues such as maritime boundaries, the extent of their continental shelves and airspace, and relations with ethnically split Cyprus.

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sg/w2tn ANKARA (REUTERS) - German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has called on Turkey to exercise restraint towards Greece as tensions between the two countries have flared, a German government spokesman said on Wednesday (June 1). "The Chancellor is of the opinion that, given the current situation, it is necessary for all Nato allies to stand together and refrain from provocations among themselves," the spokesman told a regular news conference in Berlin. "Most recently, the government has decided that we will deliver the most modern air defence system that Germany has in the form of the IRIS-T," Scholz told lawmakers in the Bundestag. "Invading Greek airspace and flying over Greek islands is not okay, it seems counterproductive and against the spirit of the alliance," added the spokesman. It took hours of cajoling by Western leaders, and a face-to-face promise from then-President Barack Obama that Nato would appoint a Turk to a leadership position, to satisfy Mr Erdogan. Greece and Turkey have traded accusations of airspace violations in recent weeks. Responding to critics in his speech to parliament, Scholz said his government had responded to the Russian attack with a"massive change of policy in Germany" by opting to send heavy weapons into a war zone. Turkey and Greece, both Nato allies, have long been at odds over a host of issues such as maritime boundaries, the extent of their continental shelves and airspace, and relations with ethnically split Cyprus. Ukraine's requests for heavy weapons intensified in recent weeks when Moscow turned its fiercest firepower on the country's east after failing to take the capital, Kyiv.

Germany is committed to resolving the open questions between Greece and Turkey in private dialogue, and on the basis of international law, said the spokesman. Scholz said talks were continuing with Germany's partners on ways to further arm Ukraine against the Russian attack. In 2020, Mr Erdogan sent a gas-exploration ship backed by fighter jets close to Greek waters, causing France to send ships in support of Greece, also a Nato member. At the same time, said the spokesman,"we cannot accept the questioning of the sovereignty of member states of the European Union". The Turkish Foreign Ministry condemned Scholz's statement and said Ankara will continue defending its sovereignty against its airspace violation by Greek forces. Related:. "We strongly condemn and reject baseless statements against our country by Germany's chancellors office," the ministry said in a statement."It is not possible for us to be in favour. "We expect Germany to invite Greece to act in accordance with international agreements, rather than making biased statements not in line with the spirit of alliance.

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