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NATO chief says talks with Greece, Turkey for ‘deconflicting mechanism’ taking place

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NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Friday said that talks with Greece and Turkey on “establishing an enhanced deconflicting mechanism” in the Eastern Mediterranean are under way but have not reached an agreement.

“Both Greek and Turkish leaders have already met for technical talks here at NATO. The aim of these talks is to establish mechanisms for military deconfliction, to reduce the risk of accidents in the Mediterranean region. No agreement on the mechanism has been reached yet,” Stoltenberg said at a press briefing in Brussels.

The NATO chief also sought to clarify that the NATO initiative concerns “technical talks rather than negotiations on the underlying disputes between Greece and Turkey.”

“As such they are meant to complement not replace the effort led by Germany for political mediation toward de-escalation,” he added.

“What I’m trying to do is not to address the underlying problems but to deconflict… As long as we have so many ships in the Eastern Mediterranean, we believe that there is a need to have technical talks on how to develop enhanced mechanisms for deconfliction,” Stoltenberg clarified.