Greece voices concern to Spain on military ties with Turkey
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The Greek foreign minister on Tuesday voiced worries over potential plans by Spain to boost military cooperation with Greece’s regional rival, and NATO ally, Turkey.
Nikos Dendias made the comments following talks with visiting Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel Albares in Athens.
Last month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country hopes to increase defense cooperation with Spain — also a NATO member — through the purchase of a second aircraft carrier and possibly a submarine.
“I expressed concern over Spain’s possible intention to strengthen its military cooperation with Turkey,” Dendias said Tuesday. He said European Union members have agreed not to export military technology that could be used “for aggressive acts or regional destabilization.”
Dendias added that Albares offered “a clear position” that Spain will act within the framework of decisions by the EU, to which both Greece and Spain belong.
Greece has embarked on a project to modernize its air force and navy, with major purchases from France, citing concerns over Turkish military activities. Relations between Greece and Turkey have deteriorated over the past year and a half over undersea gas exploration rights in the Eastern Mediterranean and migration.
“Turkey is a destabilizing factor in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Dendias said.