It is announced that the Commander of the Turkish Armed Forces General Yasar  B?Y?KANIT paid an official visit to Greece from 01 to 04 November 2006, upon invitation of the Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff Admiral Panagiotis CHINOFOTIS. The aim of the invitation and the visit was to exchange views on matters of common interest and explore ways to enhance mutual confidence and understanding.

     Specifically during the meetings the following issues were explored:

         • Review and evaluation of the implementation of the military aspects of the already agreed Confidence Building Measures, and to this end exploration of the technicalities to maximize their outcome.
         • Improvement of the technical measures for maritime and air navigation safety.
         • Creation of a committee at Chiefs of Defence level of the Balkan states, which will periodically meet in order to promote regional security and also discuss military issues of common interest. The first meeting is expected to take place at Thessalonika, early next year.
         • Creation of a Combined – Joint Operational Unit in the framework of NATO with the aim to participate in Peace Support Operations.
         • Creation of a common Land Unit in order to participate in NRF operations, if necessary.
         • Creation of a Combined – Joint Disaster Relief / Humanitarian Aid Task Force capable to operate in the wide range of missions and areas.
         • Exchanges of working visits between the commanders of the two countries’ Armed Services and other military commanders.
         • Exchanges of visits and development of good relations between the personnel serving at the Turkish-Greek  border units in Thrace.
         • Cooperation and mutual exchange of personnel, in the framework of NATO deployed naval units.
         • Regional threats and particularly the illegal immigration issue
         • Mutual exploitation of the two countries’ military training capabilities, aiming at improving the level of communication and understanding of both Armed Forces’ personnel. 
         • Additionally regional security issues to include recent developments in Iraq and in the Middle East were also discussed.

                                           Emmanuel Velonias
                                              Captain, HN
                                         HNDGS   Spokesman