Athens’ uncharacteristically public and sharp criticism this week of a fellow member – Spain, in this case – following a high-profile defense deal whereby Madrid will sell Turkey a new aircraft carrier, and possibly a submarine, generated an immediate reaction.
According to Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, his Spanish counterpart, José Manuel Albares, will arrive in Athens in the coming days for talks aimed at “fully clarifying” all of Athens’ questions regarding Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s official visit to Turkey this week. Dendias took to his Twitter account to announce the development.
He revealed that he spoke with Albares by phone after Sanchez was prominently shown signing a defense cooperation agreement with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Greece has vociferously and more forcefully pointed what it calls official Turkey’s belligerence and even war-mongering in the east Mediterranean and wider Near East over the past two years. Turkey’s continued infringement of international law and “saber-rattling”, according to Greece, has also been prominently brought up for discussion in various European fora.
According to Mitsotakis government, weapons contracts providing Ankara with new offensive weapons fly in the face of the notion of EU solidarity, in tandem with NATO’s dismay over the Erdogan’s government’s purchase and deployment of Russian anti-aircraft missiles.