Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Thursday that a new defense pact between Greece and France will allow the two countries to support each other in case of external threat. This happened in the midst of an escalation of tension between Greece and Turkey.
The two NATO countries signed a military and defense cooperation agreement last month, which includes the Athens order to purchase three French frigates worth around three billion euros. Athens has already ordered questabout 24 French Rafale fighter jets per year.
“For the first time, a text explicitly says there will be military assistance in case of third party aggression against both countries, “Mitsotakis told Greek lawmakers ahead of parliamentary vote on the deal Thursday.
He added: “We all know who is threatening who is going in war in the Mediterranean “, in a clear reference to Turkey.
The Greek parliament subsequently ratified the joint cooperation agreement in defense matters between Greece and France.
All NATO members are expected to come in help from any member state under attack. But the decades-long tensions between Athens and Ankara have been complicated by the fact that Turkey is also a member of NATO.
Turkey and Greece are now in disagreement over sovereignty over their respective continental shelves in the Mediterranean, blocking Athens’ expansion of its territorial waters in the Aegean Sea to 12 miles (19 kilometers).
Turkey, which is east of Greece, claims that one tale Athens move would cause war. Some of the Greek islands are located less than 12 miles off the west coast of Turkey.
The Athens-Paris deal angered Ankara, which he claimed in an October 1 statement that Greece’s demands to expand its territorial waters and airspace contradict international law and increase Turkey’s determination to protect its rights in the region.
“Greece’s policy of arming, isolating and alienating Turkey instead of cooperating with it is a problematic policy that threatens the pace and stability in the region and undermines not only Greece but the European Union it belongs to, “said Tanju Bilecik, spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry.
French officials were forced to say that the agreement with Athens was not aimed at Turkey and was fully compatible with NATO.
A French presidency official told reporters on September 28: “This is not a direct deal against Turkey or any other party. It is an agreement. in line with the common goal of Greece and France, which is to strengthen European sovereignty, too in the Eastern Mediterranean where we have important interests. “” Therefore, we will not understand if Turkey will react in way too much to an agreement that doesn’t target it, “he added.
Read More About: World News