In Greece, talks have begun between high-level delegations from both the Greek and Turkish governments to try to solve their dispute over the air space above the Aegean Sea.
In Greece, talks have begun between high-level delegations from both the Greek and Turkish governments to try to solve their dispute over the air space above the Aegean Sea. Turkey wants greater control over the air space which Greece closed to all but its own aircraft in 1974.
SYNOPSIS: The talks held at the Greek Foreign Ministry are the second round of discussions this year on the Aegean air space issue. The high-ranking delegation from Turkey is led by Mr. Resat Arim, the Director-General of Multilateral Political affairs. The Greek delegation was led by Mr. Dimitrios Makris, in charge of Turkish affairs. The renewed talks follow repeated efforts to resolve the issue.
The dispute flared in 1974 when Greece closed the Aegean air space to all but its own traffic after the Turkish invasion of Cyprus. Since then, airlines linking Turkey with countries to the west have been forced to make wide detours that are expensive in both time and fuel. Also in 1974 Greece withdrew from the military wing of NATO, and the Turkish government says that its forces have since then taken on greater responsibility for the defence of the Aegean. Turkey wants an adjustment of the boundaries of the Aegean Flight Information Region run by Greece. The conclusions of this week's meeting (August 27-29) will be further discussed by the secretaries general of the two countries' foreign ministries next month (September), when they will have another dispute on their agenda. Reuters reports that relations are also strained over the delineation of the continental shelf under the troubled waters of the Aegean Sea.