Ankara, Athens agree to enhance confidence in Aegean

Türkiye and Greece have agreed to establish a point of contact (POC) mechanism to remain in contact and facilitate the implementation of the agreed confidence-building measures at a meeting in Ankara.

The Turkish and Greek officials from the defense and foreign ministries held the fourth round of discussions on confidence-building measures on Nov. 13 at the Turkish Defense Ministry. The meeting came four years after the third round of discussions that was held in Athens.

"The two sides agreed ad referendum to implement or reactivate a number of previously agreed CBMs during the course of the year 2024," read a joint statement issued after the meeting. It did not explain which confidence-building measures will be implemented and reactivated.

But, it underlined that "the meeting was held in a positive spirit."

According to the statement, the two sides also agreed "to establish a POC mechanism in order to remain in contact and facilitate the implementation of the agreed CBMs." The next meeting will be hosted by the Greek side, it added.

Türkiye and Greece had adopted around two dozen confidence-building measures since the late 1980s in order to avoid a military conflict or tension. The two neighboring countries have unresolved disputes stemming from the Aegean Sea and came to the brink of war in 1996 over the Kardak crisis.

 Thaw in ties

The meeting in Ankara was a result of a recent thaw in bilateral ties between Türkiye and Greece. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis held a warm meeting on the sidelines of the NATO Summit in Lithuania in July after they secured another term following respective general elections in their countries.

Erdoğan and Mitsotakis will meet in...

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