Talks between Turkey, Greece to continue at NATO: Turkish defense minister

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The fifth meeting of military delegations between Greece and Turkey is scheduled for Sept. 22 at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar has said.

“Of course, we support peace, stability, negotiation and dialogue, but we will not allow any fait accompli. We are determined and capable to protect the rights and interests of both our own and our Turkish Cypriot brothers,” Akar said in a video conference held among the commanders on Sept. 21.

“The other party constantly uses expressions such as ‘harassment, tension, attack.’ Which abuse? which tension? Our work is entirely technical, scientific, and is being done in our continental shelf region, which we declared in 2004. It has been going on there before too. It is nothing new,” he said.

The developments in the eastern Mediterranean, counter-terrorism operations and measures to be taken to combat coronavirus within the scope of defense and security were discussed at the meeting.

The military delegations of the two neighbors also discussed the ways to reduce the risk of an incident amid rising tensions in the eastern Mediterranean.

Turkey, the country with the longest coastline in the Mediterranean, has sent out drill ships to explore energy on its continental shelf, citing that Ankara and Turkish Cyprus have got their rights in the region.

Greece has disputed Turkey’s energy exploration activities in the eastern Mediterranean, while Ankara argues that Athens is trying to box in Turkish maritime territory based on small islands near the Turkish coast.

Hurriyet Daily News

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