Germany called for dialogue between Greece and Turkey on Wednesday and highlighted Berlin’s role as a mediator between the NATO allies.
Following a meeting with Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar in Berlin, German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp Karrenbauer said that any renewed escalation in the Mediterranean must be avoided.
“It is crucial that the talks process has been resumed. A renewed escalation in the Mediterranean must be avoided,” Kramp-Karrenbauer said, noting that dialogue between NATO allies Germany and Turkey was essential.
Es gilt jetzt eine erneute Eskalation im Mittelmeer zu verhindern. Verteidigungsministerin Kramp-Karrenbauer @akk macht nach dem persönlichen Gespräch mit dem türkischen Verteidigungsminister Hulusi Akar nochmal deutlich: pic.twitter.com/f2WbMQ6FpH
— Verteidigungsministerium (@BMVg_Bundeswehr) February 2, 2021
Kramp-Karrenbauer welcomed the resumption of talks between NATO allies Turkey and Greece who met on Jan. 25 for the first time in nearly five years for exploratory talks to address their dispute over sovereignty rights in the Eastern Mediterranean.
“It is crucial that the thread of the conversation was resumed. Another escalation in the Mediterranean must be avoided,” the German minister said.
“I hope that all sides use the opportunity for dialogue. I see Germany in a mediator role here.”
She underlined that dialogue and balance are key to the alliance between NATO allies Germany and Turkey.
“Both have a common interest in a stable south-east flank of NATO. Ankara is a reliable and close partner who makes substantial contributions to European security,” the statement said.
Germany has been constructive
On his part, Akar said that Germany has been constructive regarding the tensions with Greece.
“We can confidently say that Germany has adopted a rather consistent and principled stance regarding the matter,” Akar said, adding that Ankara hopes this approach sets a precedent for the European Union and NATO member-states.
Regarding the NATO-led military deconfliction mechanism between Turkey and Greece, Akar said the two delegations have held eight meetings so far.
“We expect our neighbor Greece to show more interest in this regard,” Akar said, adding that he expects the meetings to be more productive soon.
Touching upon the ongoing exploratory talks between the two countries, Akar said Turkey has told Greece that it can host the upcoming meeting in Ankara.
“We hope to maintain dialogue and find political, peaceful solutions to the problems between Turkey and Greece,” Akar said, adding that Turkey was eager to find solutions.