NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg announced on Thursday afternoon the creation of a military mechanism to prevent blockades by the respective Greek and Turkish delegations, with the aim of reducing the risk of accidents in the Eastern Mediterranean.
According to a statement issued by NATO on the issue, “after a series of technical meetings between the Military Representatives of Greece and Turkey at NATO headquarters in Brussels, a bilateral military de-escalation mechanism was set up on Thursday (October 1, 2020). The mechanism is designed to reduce the risk of accidents in the Eastern Mediterranean. It includes the creation of an open line between Greece and Turkey, to facilitate the de-escalation of tension at sea or in the air.
Technical de-escalation talks began in early September by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg following high-level contacts with Greece and Turkey. Mr Stoltenberg said the security mechanism could help pave the way for diplomatic efforts to address the underlying dispute.
Military de-escalation between the Allies is a role that NATO has played in the past. In the 1990s, NATO helped set up a similar mechanism in the region, which was effective in reducing tensions and providing broader diplomatic talks, as Mr. Stoltenberg stated.