Top Turkish diplomat, counterparts attend NATO meeting

Top Turkish diplomat, counterparts attend NATO meeting

BRUSSELS- Anadolu Agency
Top Turkish diplomat, counterparts attend NATO meeting

Turkey's top diplomat on Dec. 1 attended a virtual meeting of NATO foreign ministers, he said on Twitter.

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said they talked about several issues, including the Eastern Mediterranean, Libya, and the recent unlawful search of a Turkish-flagged ship.

On Nov. 22, soldiers from a German frigate under the EU’s Operation Irini boarded and inspected Turkish ship the Roseline A, in a move that drew strong condemnation from Ankara.

According to the law of the sea, the consent of the flag state must be obtained before initiating a search of a ship.

Despite warnings, the frigate's soldiers searched the merchant cargo vessel, which was carrying humanitarian aid, food, and paint.

Çavuşoglu said he also shared with his counterparts views on Karabakh, where six weeks of fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan ended after a Nov. 10 cease-fire.

Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh, is a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan. But it was under Armenian occupation since the early 1990s.

NATO 'committed' to reduce Turkey-Greece tensions

NATO is committed to further strengthen the deconfliction mechanism between Turkey and Greece to ease tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Dec. 1. 

Noting that the 30-member alliance helped establish a hotline between the two countries, he said: "I'm committed to strengthening this mechanism further to build more comprehensive confidence-building measures."

NATO is ready to reduce the tension, he said, adding that they support German-led initiatives to solve the crisis.

Relations have been icy as Athens has opposed Ankara sending its drillships into the Eastern Mediterranean for energy exploration.

Stoltenberg was speaking at a news conference in Brussels after the first day of a NATO defense ministers meeting, where member states discussed several issues, including the NATO 2030 project, Russia's military buildup, the rise of China and NATO's mission in Afghanistan.