Greek and Turkish Defence Ministers hold talks during NATO meeting



Greece’s National Defence Minister Evangelos Apostolakis met with his Turkish counterpart, Hulusi Akar on the sidelines of the NATO ministers meetings in Brussels on Wednesday, and expressed Greece's protest over Turkey's presence in the Cyprus EEZ.

Apostolakis reiterated that he has frequent communication with his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar and has not held back from expressing his concerns over recent Turkish provocation in the Aegean.

"I expressed Greece's disagreement over their movements in the Aegean and in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus. I reiterated that we seek peace and security, but in no way will we back down from defending our sovereign rights," the Greek defence minister said.

Greece and Turkey have been talking at a technical level on confidence-building measures (CBM), he pointed out, "and these groups have been holding positive talks and have concluded on a set of actions for 2019 and 2020, following up on the CBM already agreed."

"It is best that both sides come to agree to implement these measures," he said, adding, "which is the job of the new government following the elections (July 7), as I cannot commit to them now."

Apostolakis expressed his good relations with his Turkish counterpart, saying "with Mr. Akar we have established a good foundation to further build a sense of security. We have not resolved any issues, of course, but it is a good foundation to build a relationship without unjustified tension."