Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Oct. 5 gathered behind closed doors and discussed the eastern Mediterranean crisis, as part of efforts to defuse tension between Turkey and Greece over energy resources in the region.
On Twitter afterwards, Stoltenberg said: “Good meeting with President @RTErdogan in Ankara today on a range of security issues. We discussed the military de-confliction mechanism developed @NATO for the #EastMed.”
He said he hoped the de-confliction mechanism recently reached between Ankara and Athens at NATO-hosted meetings could “create space for diplomatic efforts.”
Also present at the meeting were Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and Ambassador to NATO Basat Öztürk.
After Turkey, Stoltenberg will on Oct. 6 visit Greece to meet the country’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos.
Turkish and Greek military delegations have been engaged in a series of NATO-hosted technical talks since Sept. 10.
The talks at NATO headquarters were in part prompted by a light collision between Turkish and Greek frigates and increased war games by their navies in the Mediterranean.
The Turkish Defense Ministry said on Oct. 1 that Turkey and Greece reached a mutual understanding on “general principles” as a result of these technical talks.