Ankara says it’s ready for exploratory contacts


Ankara is ready for the start of the next round of exploratory contacts with Athens, but also of confidence building measures (MOE) at the military level, according to Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar.

“We are in favor of starting exploratory contacts and dialogue with Greece,” he said Tuesday, addressing the new German ambassador to Turkey. 

In a departure from the incendiary rhetoric of previous days, Akar said, “We believe that this is how we can solve our problems.”

Athens is waiting for Ankara to set a date for the next round of contacts, which will take place in Istanbul. It is also moving to strengthen its regional relations, mainly with Arab countries, with a meeting on the cards between the foreign and defense ministers of Greece and Saudi Arabia.

Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos is expected to sign a defense agreement similar to that with the United Arab Emirates.