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Defense Min. Apostolakis Talks with Turkish Counterpart Akar at NATO Meeting

Αssociated Press

Greek National Defense Minister Evangelos Apostolakis meets with his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar in Brussels on Wednesday, June 26, 2019. (Photo by Eurokinissi)

BRUSSELS (ANA/Ch. Vasilaki) - Greek National Defense 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.

According to a statement by Apostolakis, he said that he has frequent communication with Akar. "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 defense minister said.

Greece and Turkey have been talking at 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."