Turkish defence chief, senior NATO official discuss East Med tensions

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Turkey’s National Defence Minister Hulusi Akar met on Monday with the chairman of the NATOMilitary Committeeto discuss the latest developments in the eastern Mediterranean, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Akar and Stuart Peach discussed NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s call for technical talks between Turkey and Greece amid heightening tensions in the region during their meeting at the National Defence Ministry in Ankara, Anadolu said.

Last month, the NATO chief called for dialogue between Greece and Turkey over the Mediterranean,  where the two countries have long disagreed on overlapping claims on hydrocarbon resources in the region, with both sides holding conflicting views of how far their continental shelves extend in waters.

Turkey disputes Greece’s claim to exclusive rights in the waters and last month dispatched Oruç Reis vessel, along with a naval escort, to surveying for hydrocarbon resources. Greece says the vessel is over its own continental shelf, where it has exclusive rights on potential reserves.

Akar said Ankara welcomes the Stoltenberg’s call for dialogue and expects other countries to reciprocate the spirit of NATO solidarity, the agency said.

On Thursday, Stoltenberg announced that Turkey and Greece had agreed to begin technical talks at NATO to resolve tensions in the region, which Athens later denied.

Ahval

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