NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has criticized EU defense initiatives and bilateral pacts within the bloc, such as the one between Greece and France.
“I do not believe in trying to do anything outside of NATO, or to compete with or duplicate NATO, because NATO remains the cornerstone, the cornerstone of European security, as well as the security of North America,” Stoltenberg said at the conference. event hosted by Brookings Institution and Georgetown University on Tuesday.
“What I don’t believe in is efforts to try to do something outside the NATO’s framework or compete with or duplicate NATO because NATO remains the cornerstone, the bedrock for European security and also for the North American security.”
– Derek Gatopoulos (@dgatopoulos) October 7, 2021
NATO Secretary General’s remarks were made on the eve of ratification Greco-French defense agreement Greek Parliament scheduled for Thursday evening.
Speaking at a plenary session of parliament on Thursday morning, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis called the Greco-French defense agreement “the first step towards strategic autonomy for Europe.”
The defense deal with France includes a mutual assistance clause stating that both sides will come to each other’s aid “by all appropriate means at their disposal and, if necessary, by use of military force, if they jointly make sure that an armed attack takes place on the territory of one of the two. “
Mitsotakis said last week that the article on mutual assistance “essentially says that if any country is attacked, if its territory is questioned, its sovereignty is challenged, then the other side is obliged to help it.”
The idea of collective defense is the main principle of NATO, of which both Greece and France, as well as Turkey are members, notes AP agency, adding that “Article 5 of the alliance treaty provides that an attack against one member state is considered an attack. for all.”
“Does Article 5 apply in the event of an attack by a NATO member? I’m not sure NATO has ever been clear on this issue, ”Mitsotakis said when asked during a conference why Greece needs a supplementary alliance agreement. “It is my responsibility to protect my country and form the necessary alliances beyond the security measures already in place.”
The agreement also includes a provision for Greece to participate in military operations led by France, such as those it conducted in the Sahel region of Africa.
Today, in the Greek parliament, before ratification, the debate is not about NATO, but about whether Greek soldiers will be used to protect French interests in Africa.
The pacts are expected to be ratified by the votes of the ruling New Democracy Party and the opposition parties KINAL / PASOK and the nationalist Greek Resolution party. At the same time, the prime minister, declaresthat ratification is already in his pocket and can ignore the remarks of the opposition.
PS Jens Stoltenberg, you can understand, after the shameful flight of the United States from Afghanistan, NATO members realized that they should think about their defense on their own. And an alliance with France, the only nuclear power in the European Union, can become to some extent a guarantor against growing claims from outside Turkey… Moreover, events in Cyprus in 1974, have clearly shown that one member of the “defensive” NATO bloc can attack another NATO member, occupy its territory, and nothing will come of it, since everything is decided by the right of the strong.