Icy radio silence reigns between Athens and Ankara. The Turkish President partially questions the sovereignty of Greece. NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg is now calling for unity in the alliance.

NATO has urged Turkey and Greece to settle their differences in the Aegean. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in an interview with the Greek news agency ANA on Tuesday.

It is important to avoid any action or rhetoric that could escalate the situation. “At a time when Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine has shattered peace in Europe, it is all the more important that the Allies unite,” Stoltenberg said.

According to Stoltenberg, NATO is an alliance of 30 countries with different geographies, histories and political parties. “We shouldn’t be surprised that there are sometimes strong differences of opinion.” But that is part of the respective democracies, and yet we work together every day to “overcome the most urgent security challenges”.

Regarding Finland’s and Sweden’s NATO membership applications and Turkey’s veto threat, Stoltenberg said it was about “Turkey’s serious concerns about the PKK terrorist organization”. Turkey has suffered more from terrorism than any other NATO ally. “Therefore, Turkey has legitimate concerns that all allies must take seriously.”

In Greece, Stoltenberg’s attitude towards Turkey is met with incomprehension. Ankara had recently massively provoked Athens; the government under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is questioning the sovereignty of a number of Greek islands, including Rhodes, Samos and Kos. Almost every day, Turkish fighter bombers violate Greek airspace and fly over inhabited Greek areas. In addition, Erdogan recently unilaterally terminated contact with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and also severed diplomatic ties.