In a letter to the Chairman of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee David McAllister, European Commission Vice President and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said that the EU has closely followed the case of the two Greek soldiers detained in Turkey from the outset. She noted that it was “vital” to show solidarity with Greece in this matter and continue issuing concerted calls on Turkey for their release.
The European Council has expressed grave concern over the continued detention of EU citizens in Turkey, including the two Greek soldiers, she pointed out.
She also noted her latest annual report on Turkey, adopted on April 17, in which the Commission recalled the European Council’s position on the issue and urged Turkey to avoid any kind of threat or action directed at an EU member-state, or source of friction or actions that might harm good neighbourly relations and the peaceful settlement of disputes.
“It is therefore vital to continue to showing solidarity with Greece and issuing concerted calls on the Turkish side for the immediate release of the soldiers, either publicly or in bilateral contacts,” Mogherini said.
Mogherini’s letter, sent on July 5, was reproduced by European Parliament Vice President Dimitris Papadimoulis, who heads SYRIZA’s group at the European Parliament, on his weblog on Tuesday. Commenting, Papadimoulis said: “The EU and NATO have an obligation to increase pressure on Turkish authorities for the immediate release of the two Greek soldiers, who were guarding the borders of the EU with Turkey. We continue united and far removed from petty political conflicts the struggle for the return of our boys back home, to their units and families. Tomorrow, on Wednesday at 16:00 Greek time, I will be meeting with the European Parliament President Antonio Tajani on this issue.”