Greece seeks EU, NATO help over soldiers arrested in Turkey
Sotiria Theocharidi, Greece's Consul in Edirne, left, arrives at the courthouse in Edirne, Turkey, Monday, March 5, 2018. Lawyers have formally appealed for the release of two arrested Greek soldiers from custody. The two were arrested last week for allegedly entering a Turkish military zone and on suspicion of attempted espionage. Greece said the two soldiers - a lieutenant and a sergeant - accidentally strayed into Turkey during a patrol of the Greek-Turkish border due to bad weather.(AP Photo/Ergin Yildiz)
March 06, 2018 - 8:12 AM
ATHENS, Greece - Greece is seeking assistance from the European Union, NATO and the United Nations' secretary-general in securing the release of two Greek soldiers who were arrested in Turkey after they strayed across the border, government officials said Tuesday.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras spoke by telephone with United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres about the soldiers' arrests last week, the Greek government said.
A Turkish court in the border city of Edirne has rejected a request for their provisional release.
Greek Defence Minister Panos Kammenos said Tuesday in Brussels that the soldiers, a lieutenant and a sergeant, were arrested a "few meters" inside Turkish territory while on a patrol against migrant smuggling. He briefed European Union defence ministers.
Federica Mogherini, the EU foreign affairs and security chief, said the EU continued to advise Turkey to show "good neighbourly relations" and hoped for a "swift and positive outcome" to the incident.
The arrests have further strained relations between the two NATO allies who have longstanding disputes over maritime boundaries and commercial rights.
News from © The Associated Press, 2018