ANKARA

Turkey’s National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar on Monday met with the head of the NATO Military Committee to discuss the latest developments in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Akar and Stuart Peach held their meeting at the National Defense Ministry in the capital Ankara.

The two sides discussed the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s call for technical talks between Turkey and Greece amid heightening tensions.

During the meeting, Akar said Ankara welcomes the Stoltenberg’s call for dialogue and expects other countries to reciprocate the spirit of NATO solidarity.

The meeting comes after the NATO chief announced Friday that talks had started between Turkey and Greece to resolve tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean.

On Thursday, Stoltenberg had said that Ankara and Athens agreed to enter into technical talks at NATO to reduce the risk of incidents and accidents in the Eastern Mediterranean, which the Greek government denied later on.

Greece has disputed Turkey’s current energy exploration in the region, trying to box in Turkish maritime territory based on small islands near the Turkish coast.

Turkey — the country with the longest coastline on the Mediterranean — has sent out drill ships to explore for energy on its continental shelf, saying that Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) have rights in the region.

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