Greece should exercise ‘restraint’ with Turkey as it grows ties with U.S. - columnist

While the leftist government in Athens is establishing a foreign policy consensus with all major parties in Greece, the Donald Trump administration in Washington is “increasingly inconsistent” in regional decisions, a columnist wrote for the Greek newspaper Kathimerini.

The author writes that there is a bright tripartite partnership between Greece, Cyprus, and Israel, despite the ruling party’s past critical stances toward Jerusalem. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ improving ties with Israel helps Cyprus and Greece, particularly in the issue of energy drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean.

At the same time, ties between Athens and Washington are enthusiastic, he wrote. “Expectations are justifiably high from this deepening of Greek-American ties, and especially so with regard to defense,” writes the columnist, Tom Ellis.

With these burgeoning partnerships, some Greek officials have wielded a sharper pointed tone against Turkey, including the “usually moderate, low-key” chief of the Greek armed forces, Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis.

Ellis writes that Athens should exercise “restraint,” because Trump relies on Ankara as American troops withdraw from Syria. Trump recently tweeted that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said “he will eradicate” the rest of ISIS after U.S. troops exit the country.

Ellis continued:

“The formation of a comprehensive and far-reaching foreign policy that can transcend party lines and politicians in Greece is a welcome development that offers positive prospects,” he wrote, referring to opposition parties that support Tsipras’ foreign policy with the U.S. and Israel. “However, it would be a mistake, given Trump’s unpredictable behavior, to believe that these rational and mature moves by Athens will ensure actual American support in the event of a further escalation of tensions with Turkey.”