Greece, USA seek ‘stability’ in the Aegean

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Defence ministers of the US and Greece said their common goal is to protect international order against illegal behaviour and the violation of the rules in the Aegean.

Greek Minister of National Defence Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos discussed frayed Greco-Turkish relations when meeting American counterpart Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon.

Austin said they discussed the efforts that must be made to achieve stability in the Aegean between two NATO members.

Panagiotopoulos said Turkey is sticking to its revisionist behaviour for the demilitarisation of the Eastern Aegean islands, provocative violations of Greek airspace and overflights by Turkish fighter jets.

“Revisionism, whether it takes the form of questioning basic rules governing the international legal order or whether it’s expressed as the pursuit of changing internationally recognised borders, as is often the case, constitutes a major threat to the interests of Greece, the interests of the United States, and the North Atlantic Alliance in general.

“Revisionism must not prevail.

“We have to be aware, principled, and determined to avoid negative precedence and present a common position against any illegal and destabilising behaviour of such type.

“A basic common goal must be the protection of international legal order based primarily on international law but also good neighbourly relations,” said Panagiotopoulos.

The Greek minister said the ever-expanding strategic defence cooperation between the US and Greece had reached the highest point in its history.

He said that a milestone for this excellent cooperation is procuring modern US F-35 fighter aircraft.

“It is a big step in strengthening our deterrence and even closer interaction, coordination and interoperability between the Armed Forces of Greece and the United States.”

The two ministers also discussed the war in Ukraine.

Austin thanked his Greek counterpart for the help the country has provided in the security field, supporting Ukraine face Russia’s unprovoked attack on its peaceful neighbour. (source CNA)