Turkey will host a Greek defense delegation for technical negotiations in the capital Ankara to enhance cooperation in the Aegean Sea, according to an official statement on Monday.
"The second round of meetings between the delegations of the Turkish and Greek Ministries of National Defense, aimed to enhance cooperation in the Aegean Sea -- in particular confidence building measures, will be held in Ankara from June 17-21, 2019," Turkey's Defense Ministry said in a statement.
Last month, a Turkish defense delegation visited Athens for a technical meeting with Greek officials to boost cooperation especially in confidence building measures and code of conduct in the Aegean Sea.
Turkey says hydrocarbon drilling activities, the source of tension between the two countries, in the Eastern Mediterranean region are based on its legitimate rights stemming from international law.
Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, saying Turkish Cypriots also have rights to the resources in the area.
In 1974, following a coup aiming at Cyprus’ annexation by Greece, Ankara intervened as a guarantor power. In 1983, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was founded.
The decades since have seen several attempts to resolve the dispute, all ending in failure. The latest one, held with the participation of the guarantor countries -- Turkey, Greece, and the U.K. -- ended in 2017 in Switzerland.
Reporting by Sarp Ozer
Writing by Sibel Ugurlu