BRUSSELS, Belgium -- Greece's armed forces have returned to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's military command, a NATO spokesman said today.
The spokesman said the return was approved at a meeting of NATO members' representatives with Secretary General Joseph M. Luns in presence of U.S. Gen. Bernard Rogers, Supreme Allied Commander in Europe.
The decision ended a six-year estrangement which began when Greece pulled its troops out of the alliance's military command in August 1974 as a protest against the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.
NATO sources said the actual reintegration of Greece would follow a plan negotiated by Rogers with both Greece and Turkey the past year. No details were made available but it was understood Greece would promptly take up again its share in the common defense of the alliance's southern area.
'The agreement means Gen. Rogers has talked Turkey out of putting a veto against Greece's re-entry,' a source said. 'The military arrangements will be taken in due course, meaning Greece will take up again its military tasks under the integrated command.' It was not known whether Greece will get new tasks or more than before.
Rogers' success in the wake of the military coup in Turkey and the war between Iraq and Iran reflects both Greece's and Turkey's wish to restore optimum efficiency to NATO's southern flank, the sources said.
'It is also fair to assume that the general climate for bilateral contacts regarding pending questions will be influenced positively,' a source said.
In the past Turkey has been demanding a bigger share of military say in the Aegean air and sea space, which under the previous arrangements was nearly totally Greece's responsibility.
Both countries are also making conflicting claims to territorial waters, territorial shelf, mineral rights and air space in the area.