Bulgaria's Focus news agency reported Tuesday that the Gordian Knot '06 exercise is being carried out under the auspices of a NATO Deployable Corps-Greece headquarters training program. Gordian Knot '06 will run through Nov. 15 and includes Greek and NATO forces conducting joint land, sea and air exercises, the report said.
The NATO exercise is part of an effort by Ankara and Athens to reduce tensions between NATO allies Turkey and Greece. The two nations announced on Nov. 4 that following the visit to Athens of Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Buyukanit they intend to establish a joint land forces and a committee of chiefs of general staff in the Balkans, which will assist NATO peacekeeping operations.
The proposed bilateral force's responsibilities will range from providing humanitarian and natural disasters assistance to working together against regional threats, particularly illegal immigration.
The Turkish General Staff also stated that the proposed Balkan chiefs of general staff body will meet on a regular basis to improving regional security and joint military interests, with the first meeting scheduled for early 2007 in Salonika, Greece.