Turkey is an important NATO ally for us, the German defense chief said on Tuesday, ahead of a meeting with her Turkish counterpart.

Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer welcomed Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar at the headquarters of the German Defense Ministry for talks on various aspects of bilateral defense cooperation, international security issues, and the recent developments in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Germany’s Defense Ministry posted a photo of Kramp-Karrenbauer greeting Akar at the entrance of the historic building complex, known as Bendlerblock.

“Turkey is, and will remain, an important NATO partner, complex issues will be on the agenda today,” the tweet said.

The ministers are expected to discuss a wide range of contemporary issues, including fight against terrorism, NATO’s missions in Afghanistan and Iraq, developments in the Black Sea region, and the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Akar’s visit comes after the resumption of exploratory talks between Turkey and Greece to resolve bilateral problems and disputes over the maritime boundaries in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean.

The German government has taken several initiatives in recent months to reduce tensions between Ankara and Athens, and tried to facilitate direct talks between the two NATO members for a diplomatic solution.

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