A technical meeting between Turkish and Greek military delegations hosted at NATO headquarters in Brussels has concluded, said a Turkish National Defense Ministry statement on Monday.
The ministry announced earlier that the meeting – resuming meetings from last fall – would discuss an established de-confliction mechanism between the two countries, amid disputes over maritime boundaries and related issues.
Last October, NATO had said such a mechanism “is designed to reduce the risk of incidents and accidents in the Eastern Mediterranean. It includes the creation of a hotline between Turkey and Greece, to facilitate de-confliction at sea or in the air.”
Starting last September, Turkish and Greek military delegations held a series of technical talks at NATO headquarters in Brussels to discuss the Eastern Mediterranean.
Turkey and Greece are also due to start bilateral exploratory talks on Jan. 25 in Istanbul to resolve their disputes.
Turkey, which has the longest continental coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean, has rejected maritime boundary claims by Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration, stressing that the excessive claims violate the sovereign rights of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots.
Ankara last year sent several drill ships for energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting its rights in the region, as well as those of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Turkish leaders have repeatedly stressed that Ankara is in favor of resolving outstanding problems in the region through international law, good neighborly relations, dialogue and negotiations.
Reporting by Zehra Aydin Turapoglu
Writing by Dilan Pamuk