World: U.S. rules out dispute over Greece’s sovereignty over Aegean islands

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U.S. officials have ruled out that Greece's sovereignty over the Aegean islands is in dispute in the wake of the latest escalation of tension with Turkey, which accuses Athens of deploying U.S. armored vehicles next to Lesvos and Samos.

Greek Coast Guard vessel - GUARDIA COSTERA DE GRECIA © Provided by News 360 Greek Coast Guard vessel - GUARDIA COSTERA DE GRECIA

US State Department spokesman Ned Price said that "at a time when Russia has decided to invade a sovereign European state, such accusations could provoke an increase in tension between NATO allies", which he called "unhelpful".

Thus, he has urged NATO countries to "work together to maintain peace and security in the region and resolve disputes through diplomacy," as indicated in a statement. "The sovereignty and integrity of all countries must be respected and protected," he said.

In this regard, he has stressed that despite the threats of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, "Greek sovereignty over the islands is not in question." "We call on the parties involved to avoid any action or rhetoric that would lead to a worsening of the situation," he added.

On the possible belonging of the islands to Turkey, Pence has avoided taking a position and has insisted that the world "must focus on the existing collective threat, that of Russian aggression."

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