Greece and Turkey have agreed on a mechanism to prevent military incidents in the Eastern Mediterranean. Among other things, there should be a ‘hotline’ to avoid conflict at sea and in the air, NATO said Thursday after several weeks of negotiations between the two allies at the alliance’s headquarters in Brussels.
“I welcome the establishment of a mechanism to defuse military conflict, which has been achieved through the constructive engagement of Greece and Turkey (…),” said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. The mechanism could help create room for diplomatic efforts to resolve the underlying conflict.
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The background to the negotiations was that the dispute between Turkey and Greece over natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean had recently escalated significantly. Greece accuses Turkey of illegally investigating deposits for Greek islands. However, the Ankara government rejects the allegations and takes the view that the waters into which natural gas is being drilled on trial are part of the Turkish continental shelf.
During military maneuvers in the sea area, a collision even recently took place between a Greek and a Turkish warship. Turkey accuses Greece of being responsible for the collision. (dpa)