22 August 2018

Aegean on the spot, Kerry commented Greek-Turkish relations

07 December 15 | John Kerry
John Kerry


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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday expressed confidence that Greece and Turkey will work together and that any airspace violation issue between them can be resolved through existing channels.


He was speaking during a joint press conference with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias in Athens, in response to questions concerning Turkish air space violations in the Aegean.

"Of course there shouldn’t be two standards, and let me just say that Greece and Turkey obviously have long-established diplomatic channels for addressing Aegean issues.

And I am not going to try to change those channels here today. I simply encourage Greece and Turkey, as NATO allies, both of them, to work together to maintain good neighbourly relations and to encourage peace and security in the region by cooperating together," he said.

Kerry was replying to a question on whether the U.S. intends to take any action to stop the waves of migrants and refugees arriving from Turkey's shores and whether there were "two standards" in terms of Greece's right to protect its borders and violations of Greek airspace in the Aegean - in the wake of Turkey shooting down of a Russian fighter jet on its eastern border. Regarding the refugee crisis, he said this was a "human catastrophe on a gigantic scale" and not the problem of any single country or region.

"So, this is something, this is why I said this is not Turkey’s plight alone. This is not a Middle Eastern challenge or European challenge. It is a global challenge.

" Kotzias, on his part, said that the "latest incidents on the border of eastern Turkey confirm the need for us to learn very carefully from the relationship between national sovereignty, national rights and violations.

I think and hope that the Turkish leadership, too, will think about this. We always want international law to be implemented. We always want to champion and defend people. The Greek word ‘philoxenia’ – love for strangers – says it all."


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