Daily Sabah – Turkey and Greece agreed to cancel military exercises in the Eastern Mediterranean planned for next week to de-escalate tensions, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Friday.
“I can confirm that both Greece and Turkey have decided to cancel military exercises, which were planned for next week on their national holidays,” Stoltenberg said at a press conference following the NATO defense ministerial meeting.
“I welcome deconfliction. I welcome the cancellation of the two military exercises, the Greek and the Turkish exercises, partly because of reduced risks for incidents and accidents but also because it helped to pave the way for negotiations on the underlying problem,” said the NATO chief.
“And I welcome also the efforts of Germany to facilitate and to help these negotiations to start, and I hope their exploratory talks can start as soon as possible,” he added.
NATO members Turkey and Greece have been at odds over conflicting claims to hydrocarbon resources in the Eastern Mediterranean and overlapping views on the extent of their continental shelves. Ankara accuses Athens of pursuing maximalist policies in the region and underlines that its maritime claims constitute a violation of Turkey’s sovereign rights.
Turkey, Greece meet daily for NATO talks
On Thursday, Stoltenberg also said that Turkey and Greece are meeting daily at the NATO headquarters in Brussels in an attempt to resolve disputes in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Read the full story on Daily Sabah