The admonition of Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg for Greece and Turkey to sort things out is not a position.

It is a non-position.

It is a non-position, moreover, that does not represent the overwhelming majority of the members of the Alliance. It is impossible for member-states to believe that Nato’s role in disputes between them is exhausted with the phrase “sort it out”.

It is true that membership in a supranational organisation does not entail only rights. Yet it is also true that a supranational organisation has obligations to its members.

Especially in cases of disputes between members, this obligation is not only self-evident, but it is also set out in the charter.

The supranational organisation has a duty to protect its prestige by securing a minimum of good cooperation between partners, otherwise it abolishes itself.

It is thus perplexing that Nato’s Secretary General chose the role of Pontius Pilate in an obvious case of an asymmetrical dispute.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey is violating borders and claiming territories that do not belong to it.
It is perhaps a sense of realpolitik that causes the Secretary General to wash his hands of the affair. Turkey geographically and military has a weighty presence in the Alliance.

No sense of pragmatism, however, justifies Stoltenberg’s admonition, because it is above all an aberration that exposes the organisation which he leads, an organistaion that is supposed to possess muscle and force.

Yet, it appears, just as Pontius Pilate, exceptionally weak.