"Greek National Pride" blog / ΕΘΝΙΚΑ ΘΕΜΑΤΑ / ΕΛΛΑΔΑ / ΝΑΤΟ / Τουρκία

Αμφισβητούν τον Αη Στράτη οι Τούρκοι με τις πλάτες Αμερικανών και ΝΑΤΟ


Μια περίεργη δήλωση του Αμερικανού τότε Υφυπουργού Εξωτερικών, Νίκολα Μπέρνς ύστερα από τη συνάντηση του με την Ντόρα Μπακογιάννη το 2008 σχετικά με τον Άη Στράτη, έφερε τη χώρα ενώπιον της αμφισβήτισης των κυριαρχικών της δικαιωμάτων:

“ Είναι ένα πολύ ευαίσθητο θέμα” είχε πει ο κ. Μπέρνς “όμως πρόκειται για ένα ελληνικό νησί και δεν χωρά καμία αμφιβολία γιαυτό. Θέση μας είναι όμως ότι πρόκειται καθαρά για θέμα του ΝΑΤΟ και η συμμαχία θα πρέπει να προσπαθήσει να υπάρξει διακανονισμός και να προχωρήσουν οι ασκήσεις και να επιλυθούν οι διαφορές”

Λίγες ώρες πριν, οι προειδοποιήσεις των Τούρκων ότι δεν μπορούν να ελέγξουν την αντίδραση του στρατού τους, και ότι θα αναχαίτιζαν ελληνικά αεροσκάφη που θα πετούσαν πάνω από το νησί, έπιασαν τόπο.

 

Όπως αποκαλύπτουν τα ΝΕΑ σήμερα ΗΠΑ και ΝΑΤΟ υπέκυψαν στις αξιώσεις τις Άγκυρας με πολύ μεγάλη ευκολία “σιγοντάροντας” στο “γκριζάρισμα” του Αιγαίου και μάλιστα 2 φορές. Μια το 2007 στα πλαίσια της ΝΑΤΟικής άσκησης “noble archer” (τολμηρός τοξότης) και μια τον επόμενο χρόνο. Μάλιστα οι ΗΠΑ τονίζουν ότι το 2007 η άσκηση ματαιώθηκε επειδή οι Τούρκοι διαμαρτυρήθηκαν έντονα αφού η Αθήνα είχε συμπεριλάβει τη Λήμνο (και τον Άη Στράτη) στα πλαίσια της άσκησης. “Ο ‘Αη Στράτης είναι αποστρατικοποιημένη ζώνη” αξίωσαν οι Τούρκοι και προειδοποίησαν για αναχαιτίσεις.

Απόρρητα τηλεγραφήματα που αποκαλύπτει το wikileaks, τονίζουν ότι οι ΗΠΑ ενημερώθηκαν για τη ματαίωση της άσκησης όχι από την ελληνική κυβέρνηση αλλά από …τον Τύπο. Από τα ίδια τηλεγραφήματα προκύπτει επίσης ότι η περίφηµη δήλωση του Νίκολας Μπερνς για το καθεστώς του νησιού το 2008 δόθηκε ως «δώρο» στην Ντόρα Μπακογιάννη, η οποία ζητούσε δήλωση στήριξης για να κάµψει τις αντιδράσεις στο εσωτερικό. Η δήλωση έγινε µε παράλληλη επισήµανση στους Τούρκους ότι δεν στρεφόταν εναντίον τους, καθώς η Αγκυρα είχε ήδη επιβάλει τις µονοµερείς διεκδικήσεις της.

Το 2007 η ελληνική πλευρά συµπεριέλαβε τη Λήµνο (και τον Αϊ-Στράτη) στη ΝΑΤΟΪΚΉ άσκηση «Τολµηρός Τοξότης». Οταν οι Τούρκοι το αντιλήφθηκαν, διαµαρτυρήθηκαν στους Αµερικανούς υποστηρίζοντας ότι η Λήµνος όπως και ο Αϊ-Στράτης αποτελούν «αποστρατικοποιηµένη ζώνη». Το ΝΑΤΟ µαταίωσε την άσκηση, επιχειρώντας να µη δείξει ότι κλίνει υπέρ της Ελλάδας. Την επόµενη χρονιά (2008) το σενάριο επαναλήφθηκε και κατέληξε σε νέα µαταίωση της άσκησης.

Οπως προκύπτει από τηλεγράφηµα της αµερικανικήςπρεσβείας στην Αθήνα λίγες µέρες µετά τηµαταίωση της άσκησης (στις 27 Φεβρουαρίου του 2007), οι Αµερικανοί δεν είχαν ενηµερωθεί από το ΝΑΤΟ για το τι διηµείφθη µε τον Αϊ-Στράτη. Εξ ου και ο αµερικανός πρεσβευτής Τσαρλς Ρις σηµειώνει ότι «αν η πρεσβεία γνώριζε από ΝΑΤΟΪΚΉ ή αµερικανική πηγή την απόφαση γιαµαταίωση της άσκησης αντί νατο µάθει από τον ελληνικό Τύπο, θα είχαµεπροσπαθήσει να διαχειριστούµε την ελληνική αντίδραση µε τρόπο που να προκαλέσει µικρότερη ζηµιά στην εικόνα του ΝΑΤΟ». Εγραφε µάλιστα ότι προσπαθούσε να καταστήσει σαφές ότι η πρεσβεία δενµπορεί να βοηθήσει στη διαχείρισητης αντίδρα σης αν η ελληνική κυβέρνηση ενηµερώνει πρώτα τον Τύπο και µετά τους Αµερικανούς.

Σε ό,τι αφορά το πρακτικό µέρος, από το τηλεγράφηµα προκύπτει ότι οι Τούρκοι αντέδρασαν επειδή, όταν δηµοσιεύθηκε το προσχέδιο της άσκησης, οι ελληνικές Αρχές έσπευσαν να εκδώσουν ΝΟΤΑΜ, η οποία συµπεριελάµβανε στην άσκηση τον Αϊ-Στράτη και τη Λήµνο (σ.σ.: το καθεστώς της οποίας αµφισβητείται πάγια από την Αγκυρα).

Στο σχόλιό του ο αµερικανός πρεσβευτής εκφράζει αµφιβολίες για το αν η ελληνική κυβέρνηση παίζει κάποιο παιχνίδι µε τη συµπερίληψη της Λήµνου στη NOTAM, ενώ σηµειώνει ότι στο παρελθόν οι Τούρκοι δεν είχαν αντιδράσει σε ελληνοαµερικανική άσκηση που είχε συµπεριλάβει τον Αϊ-Στράτη. Συµπληρώνει, ακόµη, ότι ο αρχηγός του ΓΕΕΘΑ ναύαρχος Χηνοφώτης είπε στους Αµερικανούς ότι το σύστηµα του ΝΑΤΟ «είχε κακοποιηθεί».

Όπως αποκαλύπτουν τα ΝΕΑ:

Λίγες µέρες αργότερα, οι Τούρκοι και συγκεκριµένα ο αναπληρωτής διευθυντής του τουρκικού ΥΠ.ΕΞ. για τις Αεροναυτικές Υποθέσεις, Μπασάτ Οζτούρκ, λέει στην αµερικανίδα επιτετραµµένη στην Αγκυρα Νάνσι Μακελντάουνι ότι οι Τούρκοι «εξεπλάγησαν» από την ελληνική αντίδραση στη µαταίωση της άσκησης,καθώς και από τις ελληνικές ανησυχίες για τον Αϊ-Στράτη. Υποστήριξε ότι τοτουρκικό ΥΠ.ΕΞ. δεν είχε καµία εµπλοκή στην απόφαση του ΝΑΤΟ, ούτε είχε παρουσιάσει κάποια νέα θέση για τα θέµατα του Αιγαίου και απέδωσε τη µαταίωση σε κακή επικοινωνία εντός του ΝΑΤΟ.

Αφησε, πάντως, αιχµές για το γεγονός ότι τοτουρκικό ΥΠ.ΕΞ.

παρακολούθησε το θέµαµέσα από τον ελληνικό Τύπο, αφού ηΕλλάδα δεν προσέγγισε την Τουρκία διά της επίσηµης οδού.

Την ίδια µέρα κι ενώ το θέµα έχει λάβει µεγάλη δηµοσιότητα, ο αµερικανός επιτετραµµένος στην Αθήνα Τόµας Κάντριµαν σηµειώνει ότι ο αµερικανός αναπληρωτής βοηθός υπουργός ΕξωτερικώνΜάθιου Μπράιζα (είχε µόλις επισκεφθεί την Αθήνα)

υποσχέθηκε στονεκπρόσωπο του ΥΠ.ΕΞ. Γ. Κουµουτσάκο ότιοι ΗΠΑ θα προχωρούσαν σεκάποια δήλωση – ενόψει ή κατόπιν της επίσκεψης της Ντόρας Μπακογιάννη στην Ουάσιγκτον –, σύµφωνα µε την οποία θα ξεκαθάριζαν ότι ο Αϊ-Στράτης δεν είναι αποστρατικοποιηµένος. Αλλά το ενδιαφέρον είναι άλλο.

Ο Κάντριµαν εξέφραζε την πεποίθηση ότι οι πρεσβείες στην Αθήνα και στην Αγκυρα έπρεπε να προχωρήσουν σε παράλληλα διαβήµατα στις δύο πρωτεύουσες για να τους διαµηνύσουνότι οι Αµερικανοί δεν επιθυµούν να εµπλακούν περαιτέρω στους «καβγάδες» για τα νησιά του Αιγαίου.

Επισηµαίνει, πάντως, ότι η πρεσβεία στην Αθήνα, παρότι έψαξε, «δεν βρήκε στοιχεία ή προηγούµενα που να υποστηρίζουν το επιχείρηµα ότι ο Αϊ-Στράτης είναι αποστρατικοποιηµένος». Παρέπεµπε, δε, σε δήλωση του Μπιλ Κλίντον του 1996 για τη Γαύδο.

Οι Αµερικανοί ανησυχούσαν για την αρνητική εικόνα του ΝΑΤΟ στην ελληνική κοινή γνώµη, ηοποία δηµιουργούσε αντιαµερικανικά ανακλαστικά, ενώ δυσκόλευε την όποια πολιτική απόφαση για µεγαλύτερη συµµετοχή της Ελλάδας στις ΝΑΤΟΪΚΈς επιχειρήσεις.

Ξεκαθαρίζει ότι οι ΗΠΑ δεν σκοπεύουν να επιτρέψουν στην Ελλάδα να χρησιµοποιεί το ΝΑΤΟ ή τους Αµερικανούς για τους δικούς της σκοπούς.

Οπως λέει, «στόχος µας δεν είναι να κρατήσουµε ισορροπία στις σχέσεις ανάµεσα στην Ελλάδα και την Τουρκία, αλλά να µη συρθούµε περισσότερο σε αυτή την τριβή». Προτείνει να υπάρξει αµερικανική δήλωση σε ανώτερο επίπεδο που θα ξεκαθαρίζει ότι το νησί δεν είναι αποστρατικοποιηµένο, αλλά ταυτόχρονα να ενηµερωθεί η Τουρκία ότι αυτή η δήλωση δεν είναι εναντίον της.

Φτάνει µέχρι να πει πως, αν η Ελλάδα εγείρει το θέµα στο ΝΑΤΟ, οι ΗΠΑ θα τη στηρίξουν, αλλά δεν θα κάνουν όλη τη δουλειά. Και δεν παραλείπει να προσθέσει ότι η κυβέρνηση οφείλει να κατανοήσει ότι «ο βασικός σύµµαχός της στα ΝΑΤΟΪΚΆ ζητήµατα δεν είναι ο ελληνικός Τύπος, αλλά οι ΗΠΑ».

ΟΛΟΚΛΗΡΑ ΤΑ ΤΗΛΕΓΡΑΦΗΜΑΤΑ ΤΟΥ WIKILEAKS

id: 98891

date: 3/2/2007 17:31

refid: 07ATHENS459

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classification: CONFIDENTIAL

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C O N F I D E N T I A L ATHENS 000459

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/02/2017

TAGS: PREL, PGOV, MOPS, NATO, GR

SUBJECT: AEGEAN MIGRAINE: GREECE REACTS TO NATO EXERCISE

CANCELLATION

REF: HOTR 6 837 0051 07

Classified By: AMBASSADOR CHARLES RIES. REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D).

1. (C) SUMMARY: The February 26 decision to withdraw NATO

participation from the February 27 Noble Archer exercise over

the Aegean island of Agios Efstratios has created an uproar

in Greece. The Greek press blasted NATO for being «duped by

Turkey» into believing the island’s status was under dispute.

The normally low-key Greek armed forces chief Admiral

Chinofotis told Embassy DATT that he believed the NATO system

had been «abused.» An attempt by the Greek government

spokesman to provide NATO some breathing space by claiming

the exercise had been postponed due to bad weather had little

impact (beyond attracting ridicule); GOG officials reportedly

plan to raise the issue in Brussels with the NATO SYG. At

the same time, the Embassy has only just learned that when

the exercise profile was published, Greek civilian air

authorities issued a NOTAM naming Agios Efstratios and the

island of Limnos in the exercise — a move which undoubtedly

piqued the Turks. The GoG, thus, may have been playing its

own game with the issue. For the NATO-wary Greek public, the

incident has reinforced its belief that the Alliance tilts

toward Turkey — and is simply unwilling to do its homework

on Aegean issues. END SUMMARY.

NATO CANCELS EXERCISE OVER AGIOS EFSTRATIOS . . .

——————————————— —-

2. (SBU) On February 27, Greek media reported that NATO had

canceled a scheduled training exercise involving Greek

warplanes and at least one NATO AWAC, which was to have taken

place in the north-central Aegean over the Greek island of

Agios Efstratios (Saint Eustratius), located near the larger

Greek islands of Limnos and Lesvos. Press reports

(apparently accurately) noted the cancellation had occurred

following a Turkish protest to NATO that the island was by

treaty &demilitarized territory.8

3. (C) Greek official and press sources sharply countered

that Agios Efstratios was not mentioned in any of the

international treaties addressing the armed status of the

Aegean islands and rejected as absurd the idea that the

island might be regarded as a disputed &grey zone8 whose

status as Greek territory was ever under question. NOTE:

Turkey apparently did not object in the past when military

exercises took place at Agios Efstratios, most notably during

a joint, mid-sized, amphibious exercise, involving Greek and

U.S. forces and code-named «Megas Alexandros», which took

place in June 1998 and March 1999 in the sea region between

Volos, Skyros and Agios Efstratios. END NOTE.

4. (C) The Embassy heard on March 2 that when the exercise

profile was published, Greek civilian air authorities issued

a NOTAM naming Agios Efstratios and the island of Limnos in

the exercise plan. Given the on-going Greek-Turkish dispute

over the demilitarized status of Limnos, the Greek decision

to include it in the NOTAM undoubtedly piqued Turkish ire.

. . . CHOD PROTESTS TO DATT, GOG TO RAISE AT NATO

——————————————— —-

5. (C) On February 28, Greek armed forces chief Admiral

Chinofotis called in Embassy DATT, providing details of the

issue — though without mentioning the question of Limnos in

the NOTAM — and suggesting that the NATO system had been

«abused.» The CHOD categorically rejected any notion that

Agios Efstratios is or ever had been demilitarized (and noted

that the Defense Minister had visited a small Greek platoon

stationed on the island in 2006). Chinofotis told DATT

frankly that, while he supported both the Alliance and the

U.S., since the «inflammatory event» had already reached the

press, there would be trouble.

6. (U) On March 1, Chinofotis told the daily «Kathimerini»

that the Greek response to these most recent Turkish claims

would be «thorough and immediate … addressing every NATO

command level.» The admiral added, however, that NATO had no

jurisdiction over international treaty interpretation. As

for Agios Efstratios specifically, Chinofotis said the

island, as part of Greek sovereign territory, could not be

subject to any discussions between him and any of his foreign

opposites «inside or outside NATO.»

COMMENT

——-

7. (C) There are many hot-button issues in Greece, but

perhaps none is hotter than Greek sovereignty over islands in

the Aegean. The nationalities of those involved, the short

notice, and existing precedent for exercises in the area

raised the temperature. While the Greek and Turkish

governments want to keep things cool, this is an election

year in both countries. Thus, it is important that we be

sensitive to the impact that NATO exercises can have on

Aegean dynamics.

8. (C) We do not know whether the GoG was playing a game in

including Limnos in issuing its NOTAM notice. Nor do we know

whether a long-standing Turkish concern about Limnos or the

newly minted concern about Agios Efstratios was a more

important factor in NATO’s decision. We are seeking to make

clear to the GoG that we cannot help manage reaction to such

issues if the GoG gives the entire story to the Greek press

before raising it with us.

9. (C) We are not questioning NATO’s long-standing practice

of staying out of Greek-Turkish gamesmanship in the Aegean,

nor do we wish to insert ourselves in NATO decision-making

about exercises. The fall-out from this incident is minor

for the Embassy, but potentially serious for NATO. The

reinforced Greek public perception that NATO is reflexively

anti-Greek will not help NATO achieve its goals of increased

Greek involvement in Afghanistan and elsewhere. If Embassy

Athens had been aware of the decision to cancel the exercise

from a NATO or USG source rather than from the Greek CHOD and

Greek press, we could have tried to manage the Greek response

in such a way as to do less damage to NATO’s image.

RIES

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C O N F I D E N T I A L ANKARA 000598

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/15/2017
TAGS: PREL, MARR, MOPS, NATO, GR, TU
SUBJECT: TURKEY/GREECE/NATO: NOBLE ARCHER CANCELLATION AND
STATUS OF AGIOS EFSTRATIOS

REF: A. ATHENS 0459
B. ATHENS 0550

Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Nancy McEldowney for reasons 1.4
(b,d).

1. (C) We understand the commander of the NATO Air Component
Command in Izmir cancelled NATO involvement in the February
27 Noble Archer exercise in the Aegean after Greek
authorities posted a NOTAM that included the island of
Limnos, whose demilitarized status is in dispute. MFA Deputy
Director General for Aviation and Maritime Affairs Basat
Ozturk, a NATO veteran who handles Aegean issues, told us
March 15 that the MFA was taken by surprise by the Greek
reaction to the cancellation and concerns over the island of
Agios Efstratios.

2. (C) He said the MFA had taken no position in the decision
on the exercise, nor has it presented any new position on
Aegean issues at NATO or elsewhere since then. He attributed
the exercise cancellation to poor communication between NATO
components, from Brussels down to the CAOC level. Ozturk
said the Secretary General had queried Turkey’s NATO permrep,
who had merely advised that NATO should maintain its
traditional neutral stance in Greece-Turkey disputes.

3. (C) Ozturk said the MFA has been following the issue in
the Greek press, since Greece has not approached Turkey
through any official channels. A senior Greek Embassy
official had visited his department March 15 and had not
mentioned the issue. He said that numerous channels exist
for the Greeks to express their concerns, including the
scheduled March 22 Turkey-GreeQ Steering Group meeting at
the political director level where Aegean confidence-building
measures are on the agenda.

4. (C) We recommend the Department refer specific queries
about the cancellation of Noble Archer to NATO. We should
stick to our standing guidance on Greece-Turkey Aegean issues
if asked about the status of Agios Efstratios. Injecting
ourselves into this latest dispute, merely a new variation on
an old theme, runs the risk of appearing to undermine NATO
decision-making and needlessly places the US squarely in the
middle of the controversy.

Visit Ankara’s Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/ankara/

WILSON

=======================CABLE ENDS=

id: 100563

date: 3/15/2007 14:59

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C O N F I D E N T I A L ATHENS 000550

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/15/2017

TAGS: PREL, PGOV, MOPS, NATO, GR

SUBJECT: PROPOSED U.S. STATEMENT ON GREEK ISLAND OF AGIOS

EFSTRATIOS

REF: ATHENS 459

Classified By: CHARGE D’AFFAIRES THOMAS COUNTRYMAN.

REASONS 1.4 (B) AND (D).

1. (C) SUMMARY: The recent dispute between Greece and Turkey

over the status of the island of Agios Efstratios, which led

to NATO’s cancellation of its participation in a February 27

exercise, has received major press and government attention

here. The GoG instructed its Pemrep to NATO Ambassador Sevas

to raise it with NATO SYG de Hoop Scheffer, but the SYG

reportedly declined to get involved. As DAS Bryza promised

during his visit to Athens March 13, the U.S. should make a

statement in the lead-up to, or during, FM Bakoyannis’ March

22 visit to Washington affirming U.S. view that Agios

Efstratios is not/not a de-militarized island under any

treaty. Furthermore, Embassy proposes demarches to Athens

and Ankara explaining our position and stating firmly our

wish not to be further involved in their squabbles over

Aegean islands. We believe this statement and demarches will

help stop further deterioration of NATO’s reputation in

Greece and reduce U.S. future involvement in Aegean disputes.

END SUMMARY.

SQUABBLING IN THE AEGEAN

————————

2. (C) BACKGROUND (see also reftel): The long-standing

dispute over the status of various islands in the Aegean

hinges on different interpretations of several treaties that

designated a dozen or so named Greek islands near Turkey as

«de-militarized.» Beginning in the 1990s, GoT statements

have argued that the other several thousand Greek islands not

named specifically in the treaties may be considered «grey

zones» of un-determined status. The latest exchange in this

debate centers on the de-militarized status of the Greek

island of Agios Efstratios, which arose in connection with a

planned NATO exercise on February 27. The Turkish CAOC 6

commander advised NATO that the island was «one of the

demilitarized islands» under international treaties. Greece

further muddied the waters by issuing a NOTAM stating that

Agios Efstratios and the island of Limnos (whose

de-militarized status, while also debated, has de facto been

acknowledged by both sides) would be part of the NATO

exercise area. NATO withdrew its participation from the

exercise, citing its long-standing policy not to become

involved in disagreements between member states.

3. (C) The cancellation provoked considerable press and

government consternation in Greece. Always wary of NATO,

both interpreted «neutrality» on NATO’s part as lending

support to Turkey’s claim that Aegean islands constitute

undetermined «grey zones.» Embassy has found no evidence or

precedent to support claims that Agios Efstratios (which is

not mentioned in any of the relevant treaties) is a

de-militarized island. Indeed, following a similar argument

over the island of Gavdos in 1996, President Clinton stated

that there was no question about Greek sovereignty.

GREEK ASKS BRYZA TO STEP IN

—————————

4. (C) On the margins of the March 13 Greece-U.S. ECC, Greek

MFA spokesman Giorgos Koumoutsakos asked DAS Bryza to make a

statement affirming the U.S. view that Agios Efstratios is

not a de-militarized island. Bryza declined to make an

immediate statement but committed the U.S. to go on-record on

the issue in the lead-up to, or during, Greek FM Bakoyannis,

March 22-23 visit to Washington.

WHY WE SHOULD DO IT

——————-

5. (C) NATO’s ability to conduct exercises near Agios

Efstratios is not crucial to its operations in the Aegean or

eastern Mediterranean. But the wide-spread perception in

Greece that Turkey can use NATO to score points in disputes

over islands, and that NATO has no capacity to differentiate

spurious claims from valid arguments, is extremely damaging

to NATO’s image amongst Greeks, many of whom are reflexively

anti-American and, by association, critical of NATO. The GoG

has run political risks in making even its modest

contributions to NATO’s operations in Afghanistan. NATO and

the U.S. cannot expect the GoG to make an effort to

contribute more to NATO if the Greek public believes that

NATO is willing to allow itself to be used by Greece’s chief

regional rival.

PROPOSED PLAN OF ACTION

———————–

6. (C) At the same time, we have no desire to allow the

Greeks to use NATO or us in a similar way for their own ends.

Our goal, thus, is not to maintain a «balance» in relations

between Greece and Turkey but to avoid being dragged deeper

into the fray. Given recent events, we propose the following

steps to help repair the situation:

— During the week of March 19 in the lead-up to FM

Bakoyannis’ March 22-23 visit to Washington, an appropriate

U.S. official (U/S Burns or DAS Bryza) should make the

following on-record statement: «the U.S. does not consider

Agios Efstratios to be de-militarized under any treaty.»

— We should inform Turkey that this statement is not

directed against it. The statement simply expresses our view

of the new Turkish argument on the status of Agios Efstratios

and does not imply that we are in any way changing our

even-handed position on the long-standing disagreement over

islands like Limnos and Lesvos. We should also inform Turkey

that within NATO, we would not support the GoT position on

Agios Efstratios.

— We should inform the Greeks that we intend to issue the

statement. If Greece intends to raise the issue further with

the NATO SYG or in the NAC in order to re-schedule the

exercise, Greece will have our support, but we will not do

the heavy lifting for them.

— We should further inform Greece that our cooperation in

NATO and as strategic partners depends on good communication.

We were disappointed that the GoG released full details to

the press on the Agios Efstratios incident a full day before

informing us of its concerns. The GoG should view the U.S.

— and not the Greek press — as its chief ally on NATO

issues.

— We should also note to the Greeks that it was not helpful

of them to release a NOTAM in advance of the February 27

exercise mentioning both Agios Efstratios and Limnos.

Mentioning the de facto de-militarized island of Limnos, for

whatever motives, unnecessarily raised tensions and created a

tit-for-tat atmosphere. The U.S. is not interested in

playing such games and does not appreciate either NATO or the

U.S. being dragged into them.

COUNTRYMAN

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

id: 100734

date: 3/16/2007 12:29

refid: 07ATHENS559

origin: Embassy Athens

classification: CONFIDENTIAL

destination: 07ATHENS550

header:

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OO RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR

DE RUEHTH #0559/01 0751229

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 161229Z MAR 07

FM AMEMBASSY ATHENS

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8475

INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

—————– header ends —————-

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ATHENS 000559

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/16/2017

TAGS: PREL, PGOV, GR

SUBJECT: FM BAKOYANNIS OUTLINES GOALS FOR HER MARCH 22

VISIT TO WASHINGTON

REF: ATHENS 550

Classified By: AMBASSADOR CHARLES RIES. REASON: 1.4 (B) AND (D).

1. (C) SUMMARY: In advance of her March 19-23 visit to the

U.S., FM Bakoyannis told the Ambassador of her hope that the

visit can result in a clear indication by the Secretary of

political support for Greece’s entry into the Visa Waiver

Program. She also pressed for a U.S. statement supporting

Greece’s position on a cancelled NATO exercise, arguing that

a NATO-wary Greek public needed to see that the U.S., and

NATO, would defend Greek interests as well. Ambassador

emphasized that he understood the importance of public

perceptions of NATO in relation to possible further Greek

contributions to NATO operations, including in Afghanistan.

Bakoyannis added that she anticipates discussing Balkan

issues with the Secretary, including Macedonia’s NATO entry

and next steps on the Ahtisaari plan on Kosovo. END SUMMARY.

ONE (SMALL) STEP FORWARD ON VWP?

2. (C) Bakoyannis went straight to the point: under

political pressure at home for being too pro-American, she

needed to point to positive results from her March 22

meetings in Washington. She hoped that, as a result of their

meeting, the Secretary would be able to make a statement of

political will from the U.S. administration regarding Greek

participation in VWP. She hoped the Secretary could

emphasize that Greece deserved to enter VWP, and would be

both clear and positive — not something journalists would

misunderstand. It also needed to go further than what had

been said to other Greek officials. While as an EU member,

Bakoyannis anticipated that Greece would eventually become

eligible through the EU’s efforts, it would be better for

U.S.-Greek relations for the decision to be made on a

bilateral basis.

3. (C) Ambassador pointed out that the administration

wanted Greece to be able to participate in VWP, but that,

bureaucratically, the process was not yet ready to for a

formal finding that Greece was eligible. Bakoyannis

questioned the delay; hadn’t the procedure had been under way

for a year? The Ambassador reminded her that, formally, it

had begun only late last fall. No decision on VWP could be

made during Bakoyannis’ visit. Bakoyannis mulled a request

to see DHS Secretary Chertoff, but emphasized that she was

not looking for a final decision on Greek participation.

That was a deliverable for PM Karamanlis to achieve. Rather,

Bakoyannis wanted a step forward — underscoring that the

U.S. Administration was commmitted to Greek entry into VWP.

NATO EXERCISE CANCELLATION: NEED U.S. SUPPORT

4. (C) Ambassador underscored the importance of effective

Greek participation in NATO, which he had just discussed

during consultations in Brussels. He noted that many factors

played into decisions regarding NATO exercises in the Aegean;

members of the SYG’s staff had expressed concern about the

unfortunate handling of the Ayios Efstratios decision.

Bakoyannis confirmed that she would raise the subject with

Secretary Rice. For Greece, NATO acquiescence in Turkish

SIPDIS

efforts to cast doubt on the status of islands in the Aegean

would create a «black hole,» with half of the Aegean

demilitarized. The United States could not remain neutral in

this case. For that reason, Bakoyannis hoped for a clear

statement from the U.S. during her visit, emphasizing our

agreement that Ayios Efstratios was not demilitarized. The

Greek public needed, for once, NATO (and U.S.) backing for

its position.

5. (C) Ambassador noted that we had already alerted

Washington to this request (reftel). We noticed the reaction

to the controversy here. We understand that a better opinion

of NATO in Greece could help the government find the

political capital to support committing further forces to

NATO efforts in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Ambassador asked

whether Greece is pushing for a U.S. statement that we do not

consider Ayios Efstratios demilitarized, or U.S. suppport for

re-staging the cancelled exercise. Bakoyannis (and her Chief

of Staff Chalastanis) noted that while either would be

positive, they much preferred a U.S. statement backing

Greece’s position.

MACEDONIA

6. (C) Bakoyannis noted she would also raise Greek concerns

regarding «FYROM» with the Secretary. The new government in

Skopje seemed to be losing its sense of restraint,

undertaking acts (airport naming, statue erection) that

needlessly provoked Greek public opinion. While Bakoyannis

was trying to keep this issue from affecting internal

ATHENS 00000559 002 OF 002

politics in Greece, it was clear that NATO accession was a

looming problem. If accession is delayed for a year, that

would provide additional time to work on a solution to the

name issue. Ambassador pointed out that the U.S. would not

agree to postpone Macedonia’s accession to 2009 because of

the name dispute. The decisions would be taken on the basis

of whether the three met NATO criteria.

7. (C) Bakoyannis took the point, adding that there was no

need to highlight the name dispute if accession was postponed

for substantive implementation reasons. She added that while

the GOG believed that the previous government in Skopje had

been committed to an eventual agreement, the current

government made no secret of its intentions not to

compromise. The GOG was ready to do most of the heavy

lifting (and the Karamanlis government was prepared to take

the political heat), but they needed assurances that it would

not be a one-way street. As she put it, «We can move 80

percent of the way, but the Skopjeans have to be prepared to

move 20 percent.»

KOSOVO

8. (c) Bakoyannis told the Ambassador she had discussed

Kosovo with Russian FM Lavrov March 15, admitting that even

after the discussion, she did not know how far Russia would

go in backing the Serbs. She also planned to talk to Serbian

PM Tadic later on March 16 (he is on a private visit to

Greece). Both the Russians and the Serbs were concerned

about the Ahtisaari’s «lack of generosity» to the Kosovo

Serbs. Their fears should be addressed. Bakoyannis believed

that more time was needed to make progress on 3-4 issues that

might make the settlement go down more easily. She did not

expect the Serbs would ever explicitly agree, but if the deal

was rebalanced somewhat, it might have less impact on

instability in the wider region (she was particularly

concerned about Bosnia). Ambassador pointed out that NATO

forces needed to operate in a permissive environment; it was

not an occupying force. For that reason, it was essential to

craft a Kosovo transition that was supported by the majority

of Kosovars, and to do so now. Prolongation of the status

quo was not an option.

COUNTRYMAN

=======================CABLE ENDS=====

id: 154062

date: 5/15/2008 13:49

refid: 08ANKARA941

origin: Embassy Ankara

classification: CONFIDENTIAL

destination:

header:

VZCZCXRO5223

OO RUEHBW

DE RUEHAK #0941 1361349

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O 151349Z MAY 08

FM AMEMBASSY ANKARA

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 6293

INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE

RHMFISS/39ABG INCIRLIK AB TU PRIORITY

RHMFISS/425ABG IZMIR TU//CC// PRIORITY

RHMFISS/EUCOM POLAD VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY

RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J-3/J-5// PRIORITY

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC//USDP:PDUSDP/ISA:EUR/ISA:NESA/DSCA// PRIORITY

RUEHAK/USDAO ANKARA TU PRIORITY

—————– header ends —————-

C O N F I D E N T I A L ANKARA 000941

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/15/2018

TAGS: PREL, PGOV, MARR, NATO, GR, TU

SUBJECT: TURKEY/NATO: TURKEY REQUESTS SUPPORT ON EXERCISE

NOBLE ARCHER

Classified By: A/DCM Kim Deblauw for reasons 1.4 (b,d).

1. (C) Summary: In conversations with Ambassador on May 14

and 15, MFA Undersecretary Apakan requested the U.S. urge

NATO political and military authorities to maintain NATO

impartiality in Aegean disputes, stating that conduct of

Exercise Noble Archer under the current scenario will

escalate tensions between Greece and Turkey while undermining

Alliance solidarity and credibility. MFA Maritime/Aviation

Deputy Director General Ozturk convoked us May 15 to

elaborate on the same points, stressing that NATO support to

the current Noble Archer scenario would violate NATO’s

long-held policy of neutrality and could jeopardize progress

being made in the bilateral dialogue, including low-key

exploratory talks, between Turkey and Greece. Ozturk said

Turkey would protest vigorously a NATO decision to take part

in the exercise, suggesting the Turkish military may react

more strongly. End Summary

2. (C) Apakan told Ambassador May 14 that Turkey believes the

island of Aghios Efstratios, the focal point of Exercise

Noble Archer proposed by the Combined Air Operations Center 7

(CAOC 7) in Larissa, is demilitarized under international

agreements; any exercise involving that island would violate

its demilitarized status. In line with long-established

policy (the «Luns doctrine»), NATO should not get involved in

the dispute nor be the venue to discuss and judge

disagreements among Allies. Involving the Alliance in such

bilateral disputes will not be in the interest of NATO and

Allied countries. Apakan stated that conduct of the exercise

under the present scenario (with NATO participation) will

escalate tensions between two Allies, undermine Alliance

solidarity, and call into question NATO’s impartiality.

Apakan noted that Greece and Turkey continue to try to solve

their problems through bilateral dialogue, including via

low-key exploratory talks.

3. (C) Ozturk told us May 15 that the May 8 meeting of Greek

and Turkish officials in Istanbul, under the 39th round of

exploratory talks, had gone extremely well with positive

feelings on both sides. The GOT is therefore surprised and

disappointed to hear the NATO Secretary General claim

bilateral talks are not going well. Ozturk wondered whether

the SYG is getting one-sided reporting from the Greek side,

and is therefore inclined to be sympathetic to the Greek

request for participation in Noble Archer. Ozturk also

stated that Turkish reporting from Brussels indicates the

U.S. is now leaning more toward the Greek view on Aegean

exercises. In any case, Ozturk emphasized, NATO

participation in Noble Archer would undermine the painstaking

bilateral talks underway to resolve the entire range of

complex and interlinked Aegean issues.

4. (C) Ozturk said the GOT would protest a NATO decision to

participate in Noble Archer vigorously and at all levels. He

stated he could not predict the Turkish military’s reaction,

but suggested it would be very strong. At the least, NATO

participation under the current scenario would jeopardize

chances for any future NATO exercises in the Aegean. He

stated the U.S. has a great responsibility for taking a stand

in favor of NATO neutrality and that Turkey is hoping for our

strong support. We told Ozturk that any Turkish reaction to

a NATO decision to participate in the exercise should not

contribute to escalating tensions or creating dangerous

situations in the Aegean.

Visit Ankara’s Classified Web Site at

http://www.intelink.sgov.gov/wiki/Portal:Turk ey

WILSON

=======================CABLE ENDS============================

id: 154271

date: 5/16/2008 13:18

refid: 08ATHENS678

origin: Embassy Athens

classification: CONFIDENTIAL

destination: 08ANKARA5|08ANKARA941

header:

VZCZCXRO7246

OO RUEHBW

DE RUEHTH #0678/01 1371318

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

O 161318Z MAY 08 ZDK CTG RUEHSD 0069W 1382242

FM AMEMBASSY ATHENS

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1817

INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

RHMFISS/COMUSNAVEUR NAPLES IT PRIORITY

RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY

RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE PRIORITY

RHMFISS/NAVSUPPACT SOUDA BAY GR PRIORITY

RHMFISS/USDELMC BRUSSELS BE PRIORITY

RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC PRIORITY

RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY

—————– header ends —————-

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ATHENS 000678

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/15/2018

TAGS: PREL, PGOV, NATO, MOPS, TU, GR

SUBJECT: GREECE/TURKEY: FALLOUT OF NATO DECISION NOT TO

SUPPORT AEGEAN EXERCISE

REF: ANKARA 941

Classified By: CDA Tom Countryman for 14 (b) and (d)

——-

SUMMARY

——-

1. (C) We understand NATO authorities have informed Greek

military officials that NATO will not provide support for the

proposed May 20 «Noble Archer» exercise, which involved

overflight of Agios Efstratios island (but which had excluded

overflight of the island of Limnos, which has long been a

NATO no-go area due to its disputed status). Given the

recent (originating in 2000) and dubious nature of the

Turkish claim that Agios Efstratios is also «demilitarized,»

coupled with U.S. public statements affirming Greek

sovereignty over Agios Efstratios and questioning the Turkish

«demilitarized» claim, we can expect a strong reaction from

the Greeks, including:

— Hope for and encouragement of a firm NATO response to the

Turkish threats to scramble fighter aircraft in response to a

planned exercise involving aircraft from another NATO Ally

operating under the control of NATO AWACs. There will be

deep disappointment should there be no consequences for

Turkey in response to such a threat;

— An increase in the number of Greek policy elites who share

the popular perception that NATO is «anti-Greek,» coupled

with heightened negative linkage of the United States with

NATO. The Greeks believe that application in this particular

case of NATO’s regular policy not to involve itself in

disputes between Allies legitimizes the Turkish claim that

the status of Agios Efstratios (and by extension many other

Greek islands not explicitly addressed in past legal

instruments) is somehow in question;

— A widely-held perception that this decision is partly in

retaliation for the Greek veto of Macedonia’s NATO membership

and a potential hardening of the Greek position on Macedonia;

— A reduction in Greek willingness to work within NATO

channels and’

onalert.gr 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Αμφισβητούν τον Αη Στράτη οι Τούρκοι με τις πλάτες Αμερικανών και ΝΑΤΟ

  1. Να υποθεσω πως αυτα γινονταν στο παρελθον και σημερα πλεον η πλαστηγα γερνει προς τα εμας ???

  2. Το ιδιο βιολι εδω και χρονια ως ποτε θα συνεχιστει ο τσαμπουκας απο τα τουρκαλια καπου μας πηρανε πολυ τον αερα.. Συντονισμενες στρατιωτικες ενεργιες τωρα Ελλαδα Κυπρος με ΠΠΚ ακομα και Ισραηλ τωρα που εχουμε στρατιωτικη υπερωχη και σε δυο μερες θα παρακαλανε του αμερικανους να τους μεινει κρατος την πουταν4 μου μεσα κολοτουρκαλια

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