During his visit to Washington, Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis warns against arms sales to Turkey. The statements are not well received in Ankara. President Erdogan says he no longer wants to see Mitsotakis. Both countries actually wanted to improve their relations.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed outrage at a warning from Greece against arms sales to his country. Erdogan said of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis: "For me, Mitsotakis no longer exists. I will never agree to a meeting with him."
During a visit to Washington last week, the prime minister warned of increasing instability in the eastern Mediterranean. This should be considered when deciding on arms sales. Turkey has been trying to buy new fighter jets from the United States for a long time.
"We had agreed with him not to involve a third party in our dispute," Erdogan said of Mitsotakis' visit to Washington. "Nevertheless, he visited the United States last week and spoke in Congress and warned against supplying us with F-16s." In addition, Erdogan announced that he would terminate strategic talks with Athens. It was not until mid-March that the two countries decided, after the start of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, that they wanted to improve their heavily strained relations. The neighbors clash on a whole range of issues.
Turkey has been pushing for the purchase of US fighter jets for a long time, but the government in Washington has so far refused to do so. Western diplomats suspect that Turkey is making its approval of Sweden and Finland joining the military alliance NATO dependent on the delivery of the aircraft. When accepting new members, all NATO countries must agree.
In 2019, the US stopped the planned delivery of F-35 jets to Turkey after the Turkish military procured the Russian S-400 missile defense system. Turkey later changed their purchase request to the F-16.