National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar invited Greek officials to Turkey during his meeting with his Greek counterpart Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, security sources said Thursday evening.
Akar reiterated that Turkey expects to host a Greek delegation in the capital Ankara to discuss confidence-building measures aimed at easing tensions between the two Aegean neighbors, according to a report by Anadolu Agency.
Akar was in Brussels to attend the NATO Defense Ministers’ Meeting, where he also met with his US counterpart Lloyd Austin, his UK counterpart Ben Wallace and other foreign officials.
Tensions are mounting again between Turkey and Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration over maritime borders and drilling rights in the eastern Mediterranean after several months of relative calm.
Last week, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias also said that “Greece faces a casus belli” – the threat of war if it exercises its sovereign rights in the eastern Mediterranean.
Turkey’s foreign ministry called recent Greek explorations “provocative activities” endangering peace and stability in the eastern Mediterranean. Ankara has announced that it will take all “necessary measures on the ground” to stop this.
“The main cause of the tension in the Eastern Mediterranean in recent years has been the claims of an area of ââmaximalist maritime jurisdiction by Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration and unilateral acts which ignore the rights and interests of Turkey and the TRNC (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) “, the statement read. declaration.
Turkey has sent drill ships with a military escort to explore energy on its continental shelf, stressing that it and the TRNC have rights in the region. To reduce tensions, Turkey called for dialogue to ensure a fair sharing of the region’s resources.