NATO Secretary General on Friday said Turkey and Greece cancelled military exercises in the Eastern Mediterranean planned for next week to de-escalate tensions.

“I can confirm that both the Greece and Turkey, have decided to cancel military exercises, which were planned for next week on their national holidays,” said Jens Stoltenberg at a press conference after NATO Defense Ministerial meeting.

“I welcome deconfliction, I welcome the cancellation of the two military exercises, the Greek and the Turkish exercises, partly because of reduced risks for incidents and accidents, but also because it helped to pave the way for negotiations on the underlying problem,” said the NATO chief.

“And I welcome also the efforts of Germany to facilitate, and to help these negotiations to start, and I hope their exploratory talks can start as soon as possible,” he added.

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