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Turkey calls for peace in its region after fomenting trouble

Turkey calls for peace in its region after fomenting trouble

Under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey has been fomenting trouble in its neighborhood. All manner of trouble—ranging from inflaming religious passions to militarily bullying Greece. And yet, it has to cheek to beseech Greece to support an initiative, sponsored by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, aimed at commencing technical talks between Athens and Ankara to calm down the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has taken the initiative of reducing tension in the Eastern Mediterranean and preventing unwanted accidents, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement yesterday.

"These de-confliction negotiations, which are not about the solution of bilateral issues between Greece and Turkey, are primarily related to bilateral arrangements previously discussed between the military authorities of the two countries," Xinhua news agency quoted the statement.

"We expect Greece to support this initiative of the Nato Secretary-General," it added.

The Ministry further said that Ankara is ready for dialogue with Greece, without preconditions, in order to find permanent solutions to all issues between the two countries in the framework of international law.

Turkey and Greece have agreed to enter talks to establish "de-confliction mechanisms" in the Eastern Mediterranean, Stoltenberg had announced earlier in the day.

Athens and Ankara have been at odds over hydrocarbon rights in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Ankara dispatched its seismic survey vessel, Oruc Reis, escorted by Turkish warships to the Eastern Mediterranean after Greece and Egypt signed a maritime border agreement on the region.

Greece, which has called on Turkey to withdraw its vessels from the area, has also deployed warships to monitor Oruc Reis.

While Greece considers the explorations illegal, the Ankara government believes the waters belong to the Turkish continental shelf..