Greek minister asks NATO to help halt migrant influx from Turkey

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Greek Defense Minister Panagiotopoulos (R) with Turkish counterpart Akar.

Greek Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos called for a strengthening of NATO’s presence in the Aegean Sea on Thursday so as to halt, as he said, the migration influx from Turkey, speaking at a two-day meeting of NATO defense ministers in Brussels, according to the Kathimerini daily.

The Feb. 12-13 session focused on developments in the strategic environment of the greater Middle East, including North Africa, the security situation in Afghanistan, the further development of EU-NATO relations and the Alliance’s operational issues.

On the sidelines of the meeting, Panagiotopoulos met with his Turkish counterpart, Hulusi Akar, with whom he exchanged views on how the two countries’ military delegations could help reduce tension in bilateral relations at talks on the confidence-building measures scheduled to start in Athens on Monday.

The minister said he made clear that “in order for the military dialogue to succeed, provocative actions that undermine any effort to build confidence must be avoided.”

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