Agencies – NATO allies Greece and Turkey have agreed to talks to avoid accidental clashes in the Eastern Mediterranean, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday, Reuters informs.
“Following my discussions with Greek and Turkish leaders, the two allies have agreed to enter into technical talks at NATO to establish mechanisms for military deconfliction to reduce the risk of incidents and accidents in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Stoltenberg said in a statement.
North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies Turkey and Greece vehemently disagree over claims to natural gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean and the extent of their continental shelves.
The dispute flared last month when Turkish and Greek frigates had a mild collision.
Turkey’s foreign ministry said it backed NATO’s initiative and expected Greece to do the same. The talks were not about solving bilateral problems between them but about measures so far handled by the two countries’ militaries, it added.
“We want to reiterate that our country is ready for unconditional dialogue to find lasting and just solutions with Greece on all problems between us in the framework of international law,” the statement said.
Erdogan and Merkel discussed the dispute and the Turkish president said Greece, Cyprus and the countries which supported them were “taking steps which heightened deadlock and tensions”.