The second round of technical talks between the Turkish and Greek militaries concluded at NATO headquarters in Brussels Tuesday. The Turkish Defense Ministry stated that the next session of the talks is expected to take place on Sept. 17.
The dialogue is part of a NATO-led initiative to establish "deconfliction mechanisms" in the Eastern Mediterranean, according to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.
They aim to reduce the risk of incidents and accidents in the region, as the two countries are involved in a dispute over access to natural resources in the Eastern Mediterranean.
While the Turkish Foreign Ministry confirmed Ankara's support for the NATO-led initiative, the Greek side had initially denied that it had agreed to hold NATO-brokered talks with Turkey but the first round of talks was held on Sept. 10.
Greece has disputed Turkey's current energy exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean and it attempts to box in Turkish maritime territory based on the proximity of smaller islands to the Turkish coast.
Turkey – the country with the longest coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean – has sent out drillships to explore for energy on its continental shelf, saying that Ankara and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) have rights in the region.
After diplomatic talks with Germany, Turkey had halted hydrocarbon exploration in the region. However, the activities resumed in August after Greece and Egypt signed a controversial maritime delimitation deal.
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