Athens, Greece – Greece says it has resumed high-level political contacts with Turkey to try and de-escalate a dispute over offshore energy rights in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Stelios Petsas, the Greek government spokesman, said direct contacts had restarted after Turkey pulled back a survey vessel at the weekend from an area where it disputes Greece’s right to exploit natural gas.

The discussions, he said, were taking place between aides to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Allies of the two NATO members have warned that the stand-off and rival military build-ups in the area had increased the risk of military confrontation.