Greek, Turkish military delegations to hold talks in Athens


Greek, Turkish military delegations to hold talks in Athens


Defence officials from Turkey and Greece will hold talks in Athens on Monday over disagreements in the Aegean and the Mediterranean, the Associated Press said.

“The talks are due to start in Athens later Monday and last several days, taking place as the East Mediterranean neighbours remain at odds over maritime boundaries in the region,” AP said.

Officials from the two countries have been conducting meetings as a part of confidence-building measures meant to enable the neighbours to evaluate regional risks and opportunities.

Ankara and Athens agreed on similar measures in 1988, when the two countries accepted to respect each other’s territorial integrity, to avoid interfering military activities on the high seas and in international airspace.

Relations between Turkey and Greece have been tense as Turkey stepped up efforts to exploit the hydrocarbon reserves in the eastern Mediterranean by sending two drillships to the waters off Cyprus. Ankara says the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state in the north part of the island, which is only recognised by Turkey, should have a fair share in the natural resources of Cyprus.

Greece also maintains strong objections to a maritime agreement signed between Ankara and the U.N.-recognised Libyan government in Tripoli in November, which makes Turkey and Libya maritime neighbours and ignores some Greek territorial areas.

Ankara and Athens also disagree on maritime territories and continental shelf zones in the Aegean.

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