ΑΤΗΕΝS – Spain’s insistence that selling weapons to Turkey doesn’t affect relations with Greece isn’t wearing well in Athens where Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis told the Spanish newspaper El Pais about the unhappiness over it.
“Turkey does not respect international law,” he said, noting Greece wants to play a stabilizing role in the region and is in favor of strengthening a strategic security axis in the Mediterranean, while “Turkey pursues a policy in terms of military power,” he added, reported Kathimerini.
Spain didn’t care as Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez trekked to Ankara to meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on a possible defense cooperation and arms agreement, posing happily with him.
“We are trying to develop our relations with all the countries in the region, especially with Israel, Egypt and Cyprus,” said Varvitsiotis, noting defense deals with the United States and France under the European Defense Mechanism.
Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Albares earlier said his country’s support for fellow European Union member Greece hasn’t been lessened, trying to convince Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias that was the case.
Greek diplomatic sources said Albares told Dendias that he had recently expressed his support for Greece and Cyprus in the Spanish Parliament, trying to downplay the selling of weapons to Turkey, which has upped belligerence against Greece.
That came after Turkey was upset that Greece made deals to buy French Rafale fighter jets and warships and a mutual defense agreement in which France and Greece are supposed to come to each other’s aid.