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After arms deal with Turkey, Spain demands solidarity with Greece

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MADRID – Spain’s Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares has said his country’s support for European Union member Greece has not waned after Spain agreed to sell arms to the Turkey that could be used against Greece in a conflict.

Albares reassured Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias in a phone call, said Kathimerini, after Greek officials expressed puzzlement and disturbance over the arms deal.

Greek diplomatic sources said Albares told Dendias he recently expressed support for Greece and Cyprus in the Spanish parliament, trying to minimize the sale of arms to Turkey, which has increased provocations and belligerence against Greece.

The call came after Greece’s dissatisfaction with recent talks between Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over possible defense cooperation.

It came after Turkey was upset that Greece made deals to buy French Rafale fighter jets and warships and a mutual defense deal in which France and Greece are supposed to be together. help each other.

Erdogan said Turkey will go ahead with its plans to hunt for energy around Greek islands, including Rhodes, and continue to drill in Cypriot waters in defiance of soft sanctions from the European Union.

Spain’s move was seen as a crack in the EU and rocked Greek officials, the newspaper said, especially after the United States banned Turkey from buying F-35 fighter jets. because Erdogan authorized the purchase of a Russian-made S-400 missile. defense system.

It has undermined NATO, the defense alliance to which Greece, Turkey and the United States belong, but which has said nothing about Turkish aggression, fearing to face the volatile Erdogan.

Greek officials believed Sanchez had to deal with Turkey due to the large exposure of Spanish banks to Turkey’s faltering economy, with money taking precedence over the EU’s alliance with Greece.

The pro-Turkey agenda in terms of arms sales by the Sanchez government was reportedly raised last May by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis when Sanchez came to Athens, but that did not prevent Spain from siding with the Turkey’s side against Greece.

Seemingly emboldened, Turkey then placed more fighter jets in Greek airspace in the Aegean Sea with what the newspaper said was a barrage of overflights that saw Greek fighters engage them in mock air combat. .

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