"We discussed everything that has happened in recent months in the Eastern Mediterranean. Incidents that threaten the peace, stability and cohesion of NATO itself," Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Tuesday, during joint statements with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg after the end of their meeting at the Maximos Mansion.
"It's not a bilateral issue. It concerns all the partners of the North Atlantic pact and [is] a challenge to Europe as a whole," the prime minister said and added: "This is a danger that lurks in a zone of interest for the US as well."
"A typical example is the acquisition of S-400s by Turkey. Greece, faithful to its national rights, is constantly striving for a peaceful settlement of disputes. It is always ready for dialogue," Mitsotakis noted.
"It is committed to abstaining from any threat or use of force as provided for in the founding treaty signed in Washington. That is why our country welcomes a first step from Turkey towards de-escalation. It remains to be seen whether this is an honest move or a temporary manoeuvre. We expect consistency and continuity from our neighbours. We expect an immediate date for the start of exploratory contacts with the sole issue of settling the zones in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean."
The prime minister stressed: "In the same context, it was decided to establish a direct 24-hour line of communication between military staffs."
These are measures that followed a crisis but did not avert it. It is up to Turkey to close the road to the crisis and pave the way for a solution. We are ready to meet it on this second path.".