The General Staff of the Greek Armed Forces has decided to indefinitely suspend confidence-building measures with Turkey.

The move comes at a time that Turkey continues to maintain an intransigent stance on the return of two captured Greek army officers, who have spent over five months in a maximum security Turkish prison without charges having been filed.

The move is also linked to Ankara’s continuing provocations in the Aegean.

The Greek government has recently been examining ways to increase the pressure on Turkey to release the two Greek officers, Angelos Mitretodis and Dimitris Kouklatzis.

The confidence-building measures include a wide array of activities with Turkey.

These range from bilateral contacts to visits by officials and military exercises.

There was also an agreement that Greece and Turkey would respect each other’s major religious holidays, and refrain from major military manoeuvres during these periods.

That agreement, however, has been repeatedly violated by Ankara.

Manos Charalampakis

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