Greece and Turkey have agreed to cancel their planned military exercises which were scheduled for next week, on their country’s respective national holidays (October 28 and 29, respectively) NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Friday.
Speaking to journalists after a virtual meeting of NATO defense ministers, Stoltenberg described the news as a “very welcome step” and commended Athens and Ankara for their “flexibility and constructive approach they have shown.”
“These are steps in the right direction,” he said, adding that the tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean were discussed at Friday’s and Thursday’s teleconferences.
Stoltenberg noted that NATOs deconfliction mechanism helps to reduce the risks of incidents and accidents and facilitates the effort to address the underlying problems, with the assistance of German mediation.
“It is important that we now try to avoid inflammatory words and actions so that we can further reduce the tensions in the eastern Mediterranean,” he said.
“And while I do not take a position on the legal issues it is a fact that refraining from seismic activities has had a positive effect on the situation,”he said.