Mar 06 2018

Turkish arrest of Greek soldiers also NATO’s problem – Greek minister

Greek Defence Minister Panos Kammenos has told NATO defence ministers at a meeting in Brussels the arrest of two Greek soldiers who crossed the border into Turkey was also a problem for the European Union and NATO, Greek newspaper Kathimerini said.

“Turkey is a member of NATO and an ally of Greece in NATO, and such incidents are solved peacefully via talks between the two armed forces,” it quoted Kammenos as saying.

He suggested the refusal of a Turkish court to release the pair could damage the country’s standing within both the European Union and NATO.

“The two Greek soldiers were on a patrol in an area that is known to be used as a crossing by undocumented migrants and smugglers,” Kammenos said.

“The arrest of the two Greek soldiers by Turkey in a border incident, which would customarily be settled in talks between commanders, has effectively led to an impasse with Turkey after the prosecutor’s refusal for the two soldiers to remain in the (Greek) consulate until their case is tried.”