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Greek, Turkish Coast Guard Ships Face Off in Aegean

November 28, 2017

While Turkish fighter jets have continually invaded Greek airspace, a stand-off between Greek and Turkish Coast Guard ships off the eastern Aegean island of Kalymnos caused some tense moments and fears of a conflict.

The Turkish news agency Dogan reported an “incident” between the vessels, in the area near the rocky, uninhabited islets of Imia both countries claim and which almost brought them to battle in 1996 before being defused.

The report said that a Greek patrol boat responded to the presence of Turkish fishing vessels in what the latter considered Greek territorial waters. A Turkish patrol boat, identified as 97, subsequently attempted to block the Greek vessel.

Dogan reported that the distance between the two opposing vessels at one point was about 50 meters but didn’t say if it brought them to the point of firing at each other.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been constantly taunting Greece, is due in Athens in December to meet Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. It would be the first visit by a Turkish head of state in 65 years.

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