Greece and Turkey have agreed to cancel the military exercises that each country planned to carry out next week, in a gesture to reduce tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean. NATO, the alliance to which the two countries belong, has shown its satisfaction with this “step in the right direction.” However, the United States has issued a serious warning to Turkey hours after Ankara announced that it has begun testing the S400 anti-aircraft missiles it has bought from Russia, against the judgment of the United States and other European allies.
Earlier this month, the Turkish Foreign Ministry accused Greece of planning military exercises in the Aegean Sea to coincide with the celebrations of Turkey’s national day on October 29 and announced that they would hold maritime exercises on the 29th, which It is a Greek national holiday.
NATO has helped the two countries establish a system for avoid armed clashes, including a communications hotline, and talks are continuing to expand the German-sponsored safeguards system.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltemberg declared Friday afternoon, at the end of a meeting of allied defense ministers via videoconference, that he welcomed the decision to suspend their respective maneuvers. “It is a very welcome step and I once again commend Greece and Turkey, two valuable NATO allies, for their flexibility and the constructive approach they have shown” in this crisis.