Greek, Turkish Defense Ministers Agree on Confidence-Building Measures



Greek Defense Minister Evangelos Apostolakis (left) meets with his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar (right)

Greek National Defense Minister Evangelos Apostolakis announced on Wednesday that Greece and Turkey have agreed on a series of confidence-building measures (CBMs) to be implemented during 2019-2020 by the next Greek government.

After meeting his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar at the meetings of NATO ministers in Brussels, Apostolakis pointed out that technical groups from the two countries “have been holding positive talks and have concluded on a set of actions for 2019 and 2020, following up on the CBMs already agreed.”

“It is best that both sides come to agree to implement these measures,” the defense minister said, adding, “which is the job of the new government following the elections (July 7), as I cannot commit to them now.”

Apostolakis offered no details of the agreement on the CBMs.

According to a statement made by the defense minister, he also expressed Greece’s protest over Turkey’s presence in Cyprus’ EEZ.

“I expressed Greece’s disagreement over their movements in the Aegean and in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus. I reiterated that we seek peace and security, but in no way will we back down from defending our sovereign rights,” Apostolakis stated.

The defense minister expounded upon his good relations with his Turkish counterpart, saying “with Mr. Akar we have established a good foundation to further build a sense of security. We have not resolved any issues, of course, but it is a good foundation to build a relationship without unjustified tension.”