France and Greece sign Defense Pact: NATO members worry about NATO Turkey

France and Greece sign Defense Pact: NATO members worry about NATO Turkey

Kanako Mita, Sawako Utsumi, and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

A mutual military defense pact between France and Greece was ratified by Greek lawmakers. Interestingly, this means that both NATO members can now ally themselves against an internal threat from within this organization. Therefore, the Strategic Partnership on Defense and Security is shoring up Greece from the threat of NATO Turkey. 

Turkey, under President Erdogan, is constantly involving itself in foreign conflicts. This includes the utilization of Islamist terrorists in the conflicts of Libya, Syria, and the recent conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh – where Turkey assisted Azerbaijan against Armenia. Turkey also attacks the Kurds in Iraq and Syria.

The Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, said, “For the first time it is clearly stipulated that there be military assistance in the event of a third party attacking one of the two states.”

Alluding to Turkey and its expansionist policies, he continued, “And we all know who is threatening whom with a casus belli (cause for war) in the Mediterranean.”

Mitsotakis said, “I agree with President Macron that we Europeans have to stop naively accepting the tectonic shifts in the global geopolitical chessboard… Greece is the last Western garrison in the east. Geography dictates it, history confirms it, and civilization seals it.”

France is downplaying the angle of Turkey. Hence, a presidential official of France said, “This is not an agreement that is directed against Turkey or anyone else, it is an agreement that is in line with our common goal, Greece and France, to strengthen European sovereignty, including in the Eastern Mediterranean, where we have crucial interests.”

However, the only nation that is a threat to the Eastern Mediterranean is Turkey. Egypt and Greece have cordial relations and Egypt, just like France, is angered by the role of Turkey in Libya. 

Associated Press reports, “Greece is pinning much of its defense strategy on close military cooperation with France and the United States as it remains locked in a volatile dispute with neighbor Turkey over sea and airspace boundaries.”

Turkey naturally responded negatively and pointed the finger at Greece. Tanju Bilgiç, the spokesperson for the Foreign Ministry of Turkey, said, “Greece’s policy of armament as well as isolation and alienation of Turkey, instead of cooperation, is a problematic policy, which will threaten regional peace and stability and undermine not only itself but also the EU, which Greece is a member of.” 

Overall, the agreement is significant because it means that Greece will be supported by France even if the aggressor is a fellow NATO member. Also, it might pave the way for European nations to focus on new military mechanisms. 

After all, from Afghanistan to Syria, it is clear that America is moving away from past regions of concern. Instead, the Asia Pacific and the containment of China is the overwhelming concern of America despite anti-Russian Federation policies continuing. 

https://apnews.com/article/business-paris-athens-middle-east-turkey-a23fe5cd4f4f82aebfa25161d7252a7f

https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/greece-france-defence-pact-protects-against-third-party-aggression-greek-pm-2021-10-07/

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