Turkey expects Greece to support NATO’s initiative

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Turkey on Sept. 3 urged Greece to support NATO‘s initiative under which two countries will start technical talks on the Eastern Mediterranean.

Earlier, NATO Chief Jens Stoltenberg said that Turkey and Greece agreed to enter into technical talks at NATO to reduce the risk of incidents and accidents in the Eastern Mediterranean.

“Following my discussions with Greek and Turkish leaders, the two allies have agreed to enter into technical talks at NATO to establish mechanisms for military deconfliction to reduce the risk of incidents and accidents in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Stoltenberg said in a statement.

But Greek officials denied the agreement.

Referring to the announcement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said that these de-confliction-oriented talks are not related to the resolution of bilateral issues between Greece and Turkey, but they are related to arrangements that were previously discussed in bilateral level between the military authorities of the two countries.

Turkey expects Greece to support NATO’s initiative, it added.

The ministry reiterated that Turkey is ready for dialogue with Greece without preconditions in order to find permanent solutions to all issues in a fair manner under international law.

Greece has disputed Turkey’s current energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean, trying to box in Turkish maritime territory based on small islands near the Turkish coast.

Turkey- the country with the longest coastline on the Mediterranean- has sent out drill ships to explore for energy on its continental shelf, saying that Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) have rights in the region.

Dialogue for fairly sharing these resources will be a win-win for all sides, say Turkish officials.

Hurriyet Daily News

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