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Ankara informs Washington that it is committed to defending its rights in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea

 


US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Ibrahim Kalin’s chief adviser in Istanbul on Sunday.

The two men, whose meeting had not been announced to the media beforehand, discussed various bilateral and international issues, at the top of which were the developments in the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean and the tension between Trkiye and Greece.

Kalin stressed that his country would never hesitate to defend its rights and interests in the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean and considered Greece’s aggressive acts against international law unacceptable.

They stressed the importance of increasing bilateral cooperation based on their mutual interests and in accordance with the implementation of the strategic mechanism between the two countries.

They asserted that completing the F-16 process would serve the strategic interests of both countries.

Both sides further underlined the key role of Trkiyes within NATO and the importance of allies acting in solidarity and harmony against common security risks and all terrorist threats.

The talks also focused on the importance of focusing on diplomatic efforts to end the war against Ukraine immediately and in accordance with international law.

Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO membership progress was also discussed.

Last week, Ankara summoned Greece’s ambassador and protested to Washington after accusing Greece of deploying US armored vehicles to two Aegean islands near Turkey’s coast.

Greece and Trikiye, both part of NATO, have for years disputed maritime borders and energy exploration rights in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean Seas.

The latest escalation began when Turkish security sources shared aerial footage allegedly showing ships loaded with US armored vehicles docking on two Greek islands, Lesbos and Samos.

The United States responded to the protest filed by Trkiye and stressed on Wednesday that Greek sovereignty over two islands was in no doubt.

In a memo to the US Embassy in Ankara, Trkiye told Washington that its weapons should not be used in violation of the islands’ agreed status.

Ankara has threatened to bolster Turkish Cypriot defenses in the north of the island, two weeks after Washington lifted a decades-old arms embargo against the internationally recognized Greek Cypriot government located in the south of the island.

Erdogan criticized US positions on Greece’s arming of the Aegean islands which should, according to international law, be demilitarized, as well as on the conflict in the eastern Mediterranean.

The United States, which neglects and even encourages the steps of the Cypriot-Greek duo that threaten peace and stability in the eastern Mediterranean, will lead to an arms race on the island with this step, Erdogan stressed.


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