Greece blasts Berlin for shunning plea for Turkey arms embargo
Greek secretary of state Nikos Dendias suspect European country of failing to measure up to its leadership role within the EU by rejecting pleas from Athens to impose Associate in Nursing arms embargo on Turkey.
“I very fail to grasp Germany’s reluctance to use the large power of its economy to line a transparent example to countries that they have to conform international law,” Dendias aforementioned in an interview with POLITICO.
Against a scenery of heightened tensions in the jap Mediterranean, Greece has appealed to European partners in recent weeks to prevent arms sales to Turkey. Athens argues such weapons can be used against 2 EU member countries, Greece Associate in Nursingd Cyprus, if there’s an step-up of disputes over territorial waters.
“I perceive the money issue, however i’m positive European country conjointly understands the massive contradiction of providing offensive weapons to a rustic that threatens the peace and stability of 2 EU countries. this can be the definition of the word contradiction,” he aforementioned.
Dendias said he failed to understand why Greece ought to even ought to raise the matter with Berlin “instead of Germany realizing by itself, from the checks and balances of its own system, that this is not compatible with its role in Europe.”
Greece and Turkey are each members of the NATO alliance, but with long-standing disagreements on a variety of issues, including sea boundaries. Their relationship has reached a low point in recent months.
Over the summer, the countries came close to a military conflict, as the the Oruç Reis, a seismic vessel owned by Turkey’s General Directorate of Mineral Research and Exploration, started research activities in disputed waters. Turkish and Greek naval flotillas faced off against each other for weeks. Turkey has been conducting research and drilling off Cyprus in recent months as well.
Germany has tried to play the role of the mediator, with Foreign Minister Heiko Maas visiting Athens and Ankara several times to push for a restart of diplomatic talks. Chancellor Angela Merkel helped avert a potential conflict by calling both Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
But Greece has voiced dissatisfaction with what Dendias has branded a policy of “appeasement” pursued by Germany toward Turkey. Athens argues Germany should be firmly on the side of its fellow EU members, Greece and Cyprus.
In the interview, Dendias referred to as on EU leaders to send a transparent message to Turkey at next month’s European Council summit. however he stopped wanting expressly hard EU sanctions on Ankara.
He aforementioned Europe ought to provides a “logical answer” to Turkey’s recent actions that will match European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s pledge to steer a “geopolitical” Commission.
Shortly before the last EU summit, the Turkish vessel returned home, and each sides agreed to restart talks. At the summit on Oct 2, EU leaders warned Ankara it may face sanctions over its activities within the jap Mediterranean, but eluded taking any action — only for the Turkish ship to resume its mission some days later.
This time around, Turkey has once more signaled the ship can come to port before of the summit, saying its mission will last till November 29. The summit is scheduled to start on Gregorian calendar month 10.
Dendias steered that if EU leaders followed constant course as last time, it might mean they’d not learned their lesson.
“If you are doing the same belongings you did within the past and expect another outcome in the future, this can be one thing delineated with the word ‘naive’ — and that’s a light term for it, i might say,” Dendias aforementioned.
“Europe would send the incorrect message to any or all the countries within the broader region. Whoever acts arbitrarily, whoever violates international law, whoever blackmails, is at the tip of the day left unrebuked or is even rewarded.”
Dendias declined to specify what the EU’s message ought to be. He said it should rely upon whether or not Turkey shows a true modification in perspective in the coming back days and weeks.
Dendias said he’s trying forward to operating with ensuing U.S. administration. each President-elect Joe Biden and his politician for secretary of state, Antony Blinken, recognize the region and Greek-Turkish issues terribly well, he said.
“I believe that the region wants the presence of the u. s. and notably its military presence, during a method that will offset the shortage of European military presence within the region,” he said.