WORLD Türkiye accuses Greek aircraft of attempting to 'block" NATO mission

WORLD

Türkiye accuses Greek aircraft of attempting to 'block" NATO mission

Xinhua

08:43, December 18, 2022

ANKARA, Dec. 17 (Xinhua) -- Türkiye said on Saturday that its warplanes gave a "necessary response" to an attempt by Greek aircraft to "block" a Turkish-NATO mission in the Aegean.

"Combat and support aircraft of our Air Force and the AWACS aircraft commissioned by NATO performed the NEXUS ACE training mission in the international airspace over the Aegean Sea," the Turkish Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Greek aircraft tried to block the mission which was "successfully completed" after Turkish planes responded, the ministry added.

The relations between Türkiye and Greece, two NATO allies, have long been at odds over a series of issues, including those of minorities and illegal immigration, and maritime and energy disputes in the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.

To seek out diplomatic solutions to such issues, the two countries restarted their consultative talks in 2021 after a five-year break, but the rapprochement has been stalled because of the recent tensions between the two sides.

In August, Türkiye accused Greece of harassing Turkish jets carrying out NATO missions, while Greece rejected the claims.

Over what Ankara calls a military buildup on the Greek Aegean islands next to the Turkish coastline in recent months, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly vowed a military response.

"We may come down suddenly one night when the time comes," Erdogan said at an aerial technology festival in early September.

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