4 June 1998

Statement by the Secretary General of NATO, Dr. Javier Solana, on Confidence Building Measures Between Greece and Turkey

  1. The Secretary General of NATO, Dr. Javier Solana, is pleased to be able to announce that in the course of his continuing talks with the Permanent Representatives of Greece and Turkey on Confidence Building Measures both sides have informed him of their intention to implement fully the agreements reached in 1988 between the then Foreign Ministers Papoulias and Yilmaz (the Memorandum of Understanding signed on 27 May, 1988 in Athens and the Guidelines for the Prevention of Accidents and Incidents on the High Seas and International Airspace, signed on 8 September 1988 in Istanbul).

  2. The two sides have also declared their willingness to continue their talks with the Secretary General in order to clarify where necessary and to strengthen and complement where possible the set of confidence building measures which the 1988 agreements provide for and which constitute a framework of agreed rules of behaviour regarding national military activities in the high seas and the international airspace aimed at reducing tension and avoiding dangerous incidents. In this context the Secretary General and the two countries intend to explore the opportunities for greater mutual information and coordination offered by the emerging NATO air command and control system (ACCS).

  3. In the 1988 Memorandum of Understanding both countries have recognized the obligation to respect the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of each other and their rights to use the high seas and international airspace of the Aegean. Todays statement is a manifestation of the political will of the two governments to continue to respect these principles and to carry out in good faith the range of confidence building measures that have been agreed as well as those that may further be agreed in the talks between the Secretary General and the two countries, and as such it constitutes an important interim result of these talks.

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