ANKARA, Feb 13 (KUNA) -- Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras discussed by phone on Tuesday the ways to defuse the tensions between their two countries in the Aegean Sea.
During the conversation, Yildirim said that Turkey expects Greece to take the necessary measures to lower the tensions, Turkey's Anadolu Agency reported, citing sources at the Prime Minister's office.
The two leaders agreed to solve the problems through dialogue and to convene a meeting by the military top brass of the two countries, if necessary.
Despite the differences between the two countries, the conversation was held in a "positive atmosphere," the source said.
According to the Greek news agency AMNA, a Turkish patrol boat rammed into a Greek Coast Guard patrol boat near the Kardak islets in the southeastern Aegean last night.
Meanwhile, spokesman of the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hami Aksoy said the Greek side "has distorted the facts as is always the case."
"In fact, the Undersecretary of our Ministry has called the Secretary General of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs concerning the incidents caused last night by the Greek Coast Guard boats through their dangerous maneuvers in the vicinity of the Kardak rocks, which are under Turkish sovereignty," Aksoy said in a statement.
"The Undersecretary has clearly stated that the hostile actions of the Greek military forces are continuing in air and at sea, of which we will not tolerate, and that increasing tension in the Aegean Sea does not serve to the interests of the two countries."
On January 28, the Turkish Coast Guard blocked Greece's Defense Minister Panos Kammenos from approaching a pair of Turkish islets in the Aegean.
Coast guard officers warned off Kammenos, who was heading to the Kardak islets in an assault boat to lay a wreath there. Following the warning, the Greek boat left Turkey's territorial waters.
A decades-long dispute between Turkey and Greece over the uninhabited Aegean islets brought the two countries to the brink of armed conflict in 1996 and led to renewed tensions this year. (end)