Greek, Turk­ish lead­ers meet:

Arab Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Greece’s prime min­is­ter told his Turk­ish coun­ter­part Mon­day that airspace vi­o­la­tions over the Aegean Sea must stop as they in­crease the risk of a mil­i­tary ac­ci­dent in the sea be­tween the two NATO al­lies.

Greek Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras said he and his Turk­ish coun­ter­part Bi­nali Yildirim, who was on a one-day visit to Greece, agreed to main­tain open chan­nels of communication be­tween them in an ef­fort to re­duce po­ten­tial mil­i­tary ten­sions aris­ing from airspace vi­o­la­tions.

Greece and Turkey stand far apart on many fronts, in­clud­ing Aegean Sea bound­aries, un­der­sea ex­plo­ration rights and the war-di­vided is­land of Cyprus. Athens says Turk­ish fighter jets fre­quently vi­o­late the airspace un­der its civil avi­a­tion con­trol, and often vi­o­late its na­tional airspace.

“I stressed to Mr Yildirim that this sit­u­a­tion isn’t help­ing at all, and that these in­fringe­ments can­not con­tinue,” Tsipras said dur­ing joint state­ments to the me­dia af­ter the two men met for talks. “(They) in­crease the risk of an ac­ci­dent.”

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