Greek and Turkish defence ministers meet amid rising tension

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Greece’s Defence Minister, Nikos Panagiotopoulos met with his Turkish counterpart, Hulusi Akar on the sidelines of a NATO Defence Ministers Summit in Brussels amid renewed tensions between the neighbouring countries.

READ MORE: Greece rejects Turkey’s calls to demilitarise Aegean islands

According to a press release issued by the Greek Ministry of National Defence, the two briefly conversed and emphasised “the importance of maintaining open communication channels in the spirit of good neighbourly relations and focusing on a positive agenda that will help build a better climate and bilateral cooperation.”

The Ministry said this exchange was in recognition of “the importance of reducing tensions.”

Long-existing tensions between the NATO allies flared up again recently, with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan saying that Greece should stop arming islands in the Aegean Sea that have a demilitarised status and abide by international agreements.

READ MORE: Mitsotakis: Turkey’s position over Aegean islands ‘absolutely absurd’

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