Yayci suggests Turkey won't support Nordic NATO membership
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President Erdogan said on Monday that Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis “no longer exists” for him, accusing the Greek leader of trying to block sales of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey during a visit to the United States.
“We had agreed to not include third countries in our dispute with him. Despite this, last week, he had a visit to the US and talked at the Congress and warned them not to give F-16s to us,” the Turkish leader said at a news conference following the weekly cabinet meeting.
“He no longer exists for me. I will never agree to meet with him. We will continue our way with honourable politicians.”
Asked to respond to the attack, Commission Deputy Chief Spokesperson Dana Spinant initially replied: “No comment.”
Speaking to Skai TV, Greek MP and former foreign minister Dora Bakoyanni said in response: “It annoyed me a lot, and to put it very clearly: I have the feeling that to some extent, the Europeans have lost it.”
Following pressure from Athens, the Commission eventually said: “Mr. Mitsotakis is the head of a government of an EU member state, which is recognised by the whole world.
“As the European Council has pointed out on several occasions, the EU expects Turkey to make a constructive commitment to the EU and its Member States and to take steps towards de-escalation”.
But that appeared to be too little too late as Ms Bakoyanni, a politician from the Greek ruling New Democracy party, said the new statement was “equally irrelevant” adding the EU executive “lives in its own bubble” and often reacts to diplomatic disputes “with delay”.
Turkey and Greece, both NATO allies, have been at odds over a host of issues such as maritime boundaries, the extent of their continental shelves, airspace, and ethnically split Cyprus.
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During his visit to the United States where he met US President Joe Biden and senior US officials last week, Mr Mitsotakis said Greece will start procedures for the purchase of F-35 fighter jets from the United States by 2030.
Following President Erdogan’s remarks, Greek government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou responded that Mr Mitsotakis defends Greece’s rights and international law and that Greece’s foreign policy is also based on its alliances.
He said in a statement: “We won’t get into a counterargument with Turkey’s leadership.
“Our policy is a policy of principles.”
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Coming to Greece’s defence, EPP leader Manfred Weber blasted the Turkish President.
He said: “If President Erdogan is committed to NATO, he should stop provoking fellow allies.
“The question is does he really want to be part of our union of values?”
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