Top Pentagon official in Athens
The gamut of Greek-US relations in the defence and global security sectors were on the table of discussions in Athens on Monday between Alternate DM Panos Beglitis and visiting US Assistant Secretary of Defense Alexander Vershbow, with an emphasis on regional developments in the Balkans and SE Europe.
Beyond developments in the wider region, however, the Greek side also reportedly presented the high-ranking US official with statistical evidence pointing to continued Turkish military provocations in the eastern Aegean, with Beglitis emphasising that “we will not tolerate any behaviour by Turkey that continues to violate international treaties and International Law …
“We will not discuss anything if everyone does not accept the reality in the Aegean, which is expressed by International law.”
Speaking later at a press briefing at the US embassy in Athens, Vershbow, a veteran US Foreign Service envoy and former US ambassador to NATO (1998-2001), said that the situation in the eastern Aegean “… is certainly an issue that is of concern to the United States and I think it is of concern to other allies.
We continue to encourage both Greece and Turkey to try to find diplomatic solutions to the problems that have led to some of the tensions surrounding these issues, and surrounding the overflight issue, in particular.”