Greece, early on Monday, denounced Turkey’s plans to carry out a maritime military exercise on October 28, a Greek national holiday.
Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas said Ankara’s move showed it was an “unreliable” partner when it comes to negotiations.
“Over the last few days, Turkey has been making a persistent effort to prove that not only is it a troublemaker in our wider region, but it is also a completely unreliable interlocutor,” Petsas said.
But, just a few hours later, Turkey made an abrupt face with Turkish officials announcing that they had decided to cancel the exercises.
Citing military sources, the Turkish state-run news agency Anadolu described the decision as a “one-time move and gesture of goodwill.”
It was a gesture aimed “to show Turkey’s willingness to solve the problems in the Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean with dialogue,” Anadolu said, citing the unnamed sources.
Turkey issued a navigation warning late on Friday announcing naval exercises in the Eastern Mediterranean for October 27-28, hours after NATO’s Secretary-General announced that Greece and Turkey agreed on Friday to cancel military exercises that were scheduled on each other’s national holidays on October 28 and 29, respectively.