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Turkey supports military talks initiative with Greece

NATO's General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg (L) speaks next to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis during a press conference after their meeting in Athens on 10 October 2019. [ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images]
NATO's General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg (L) speaks next to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis during a press conference after their meeting in Athens on 10 October 2019. [ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images]

Turkey supports an initiative on talks between military officials of Turkey and Greece, following the meeting between the Turkish president and NATO chief, the country's defense minister said in the capital Ankara on Friday, Anadolu Agency reports.

"After the meeting of Turkish President [Recep Tayyip Erdogan] and NATO Secretary-General [Jens Stoltenberg], there is an initiative to start talks [on the Eastern Mediterranean] between the military officials [of Turkey and Greece], which we support," Hulusi Akar said at a graduation ceremony at the National Defense University in Ankara.

France's statements on the Eastern Mediterranean and Iraq "do not contribute to the spirit of the alliance, nor to peace or dialogue," Akar said.

READ: Greece, Turkey agree to talks over Eastern Mediterranean

On Thursday, NATO's General Secretary Jens Stoltenberg announced that Turkey and Greece agreed to enter into technical talks at NATO to reduce the risk of incidents and accidents in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Greece has disputed Turkey's current energy exploration in the region, 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.

Categories
Europe & RussiaGreeceInternational OrganisationsNATONewsTurkey
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