United States diplomats are working to reduce the ongoing tensions between Greece and Turkey, according to a Wednesday statement by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Matthew Palmer, as reported by the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA-MPA).
“We are working with our allies and partners to promote dialogue, to promote the responsible management of areas where disagreements have been reported and to work to deescalate points of friction before they evolve into crises,” Palmer said during a webinar for the German Marshall Fund of the United States.
Palmer characterized Turkish combat aircraft flying into Greek airspace as “challenges,” noting that the Greek government’s concerns have been recognized by the international community. He referred to the overflights as “not a new issue.”
“It is something we have been working on for years, and many of these friction points have been around for a long time,” Palmer said.
Palmer also took note of a visit he paid to northern Greece in March, reporting that he had “encouraged Turkey to reduce the tension.”