Hellenic Armed Forces General Staff (GEETHA) Chief Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis and his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar discussed ways of deescalating tension in the Aegean to avoid the possibility of an accident, in talks held on the sidelines of recent military conferences in Europe.
Apostolakis and Akar met at a NATO Military Committee meeting in Brussels last week and at the 12th Balkan Countries CHODs Conference, in Belgrade, Serbia, held on May 22-23.
Reducing tension in the Aegean is an issue of paramount importance for the security and stability in the region and the two military chiefs reportedly discussed it at length.
According to sources with knowledge of the extensive talks between the two chiefs, recent news reports claiming Akar asked Apostolakis for an exchange between the two Greek soldiers held in Turkey with the eight Turkish officers who have sought asylum in Greece after the failed coup of 2016 are completely inaccurate.
The same source said Athens is not discussing these scenarios at all, let alone at a formal and top military level.
The two military chiefs focused on military matters and did not go into political issues affecting bilateral relations.