In an August 4 letter, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Matthew Palmer, who responded at the request of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, to a July 22 letter sent by Supreme President George G. Horiates about Turkey’s provocations in the Aegean conveyed the United States’ “deep concern.” Palmer stated, “We continue to urge Turkish authorities to halt these activities and to avoid steps that raise tensions in the region. We fully agree that a conflict between two NATO Allies must be avoided.”

Deputy Assistant Secretary Palmer also addressed the issue raised by Supreme President Horiates of sanctioning Turkey under existing U.S. law, stating, “The Administration continues to object strenuously to Turkey’s S-400 purchase.” Palmer cited Turkey’s suspension and pending removal from the F-35 program as a further response to Turkey’s acquisition of the Russian-made S-400 missile system.

“We sincerely thank the State Department, and specifically Deputy Assistant Secretary Palmer, for responding in great detail to AHEPA’s concerns about Turkey’s aggression toward Greece and its overall behavior in the region,” Horiates said. “However, given Turkey’s renewed provocations in the Aegean this week, we urge the State Department to send a stronger message to Turkey that unequivocally condemns Turkey’s actions that escalate tensions and unnecessarily places lives in harm’s way. Turkey must be held accountable.