Turkish, Greek delegations meet in NATO headquarters over east Med agenda

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Turkish and Greek military delegations met at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on Sept. 10 to discuss methods for reducing risks of incidents in the eastern Mediterranean.

The meeting between the delegations of Greece and Turkey was first scheduled to be held on Sept. 8 at the NATO headquarters but was later postponed to Sept.10.

The “military de-confliction” talks, initiated by NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg last week, aim to prevent any confrontation in the eastern Mediterranean between the Turkish and Greek militaries, such as a collision last month between Greek and Turkish warships.

Turkey and Libya signed a maritime demarcation agreement in late 2019, triggering reactions from Greece, which argued the deal was violating their continental shelf off the Crete Island.

Turkey, the country with the longest coastline in the Mediterranean, has sent out drill-ships to explore for energy on its continental shelf.

On Sept. 4, Stoltenberg said Turkey and Greece had started technical talks as a result of his initiative aiming to de-escalate tension in the eastern Mediterranean despite a denial from Greece.

The NATO chief stated that the talks aimed at reducing the risk of conflict or accidents amid military tensions between the allies over offshore energy resources in the eastern Mediterranean. No agreement has been reached from the military-level talks.

Turkish, German defense chiefs discuss east Med

Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and his German counterpart, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, talked over the phone on Sept. 9 about recent developments in the eastern Mediterranean, an official statement said.

According to the statement by the Turkish Defense Ministry, Akar and Kramp-Karrenbauer exchanged views on bilateral defense and security relations, as well as regional issues, particularly the developments in the eastern Mediterranean.

Turkey does not favor a deadlock but rather a resolution for problems through dialogue, said Akar over the phone conversation, the statement added.

Akar also noted that other countries should approach the issue with “common sense and spirit of the alliance.”

Turkey is righteous and resolute, will never allow any fait accompli and will continue to defend its rights stemming from international law, he said.

Hurriyet Daily News

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