Turkey, Greece agree to enter deconfliction talks at NATO, Stoltenberg says

Turkey and Greece have agreed to enter talks to establish "deconfliction mechanisms" in the Eastern Mediterranean, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced Thursday, Daily Sabah reports. 

In a Tweet, Stoltenberg said he had discussions with the leaders of both countries and they will engage in technical talks at NATO to reduce the risk of incidents and accidents in the region.

Stoltenberg had announced the possible diplomatic opening in a statement on the military alliance's website the same day Turkey announced that Russia plans to conduct live-fire naval exercises this month in the Eastern Mediterranean.

"Greece and Turkey are valued Allies, and NATO is an important platform for consultations on all issues that affect our shared security,” the statement read. "I remain in close touch with all concerned Allies to find a solution to the tensions in the spirit of NATO solidarity."

Turkish Foreign Ministry later on Thursday confirmed Ankara’s support for this "initiative of the NATO Secretary to reduce the tension in the Eastern Mediterranean" and to prevent undesired developments.

The Foreign Ministry also emphasized that they expect Athens to support this initiative as well, reiterating that Ankara "is ready for dialogue with Greece, without preconditions, in order to find permanent solutions to all issues, within the framework of international law and in a fair and equitable manner."

Greece denied late Thursday that it had agreed to hold NATO-brokered talks with Turkey.


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