ATHENS — NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed Tuesday's announcement of the restart of exploratory talks between Greece and Turkey, in statements made as part of an official visit by Spanish President Pedro Sánchez at the alliance's headquarters in Brussels on Wednesday.
Specifically referring to NATO's role in the Eastern Mediterranean developments, Stoltenberg said, "Half a dozen meetings have been held here at NATO Headquarters with Greece and Turkey. The aim is to create a de-confliction mechanism, with the aim of avoiding incidents and accidents at sea or in the air. These meetings are ongoing and good progress has been made. These are technical military talks; they complement the diplomatic efforts led by Germany to resolve the underlying dispute."
Referring to the negotiations between the two countries, the NATO chief said, "The German efforts have led to an agreement yesterday to hold exploratory talks, which I welcome. Developing de-confliction mechanisms between militaries is a natural role for NATO. We did this before in the 1990s, and it proved very effective. I remain in close contact with both the Greek and Turkish leadership."