İrem UZUN -TDO- The chief of NATO on Friday said that in a move to de-escalate tensions, Turkey and Greece cancelled military exercises in the Eastern Mediterranean planned for next week. “I can confirm that both Greece and Turkey have decided to cancel military exercises which were planned for next week on their national holidays,” Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told a press conference after a meeting of NATO defense ministers.
Earlier this month, Turkey’s foreign ministry accused Greece of planning military maneuvers in the Aegean Sea to coincide with Turkey’s October 29 national day celebrations. Turkey retaliated by declaring exercises on October 28 - a Greek national holiday.
Stoltenberg told the press that he hoped the cancellation of the exercises would affect a positive influence on the ongoing efforts to ease tensions between the two countries in the eastern Mediterranean - a process which is being hold by Germany. Greece and Turkey have also agreed that they will once again take up exploratory talks which are aimed at building mutual confidence and resolving disputes between two countries. Such discussions were last held between representatives from the two nations in 2016.