The United Nations, Greece and Turkey have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Field of Humanitarian Emergency Response.
Kenzo Oshima, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, called the agreement "a major step forward for regional humanitarian stand-by arrangements, and a hopeful sign for the future of relations between Greece and Turkey."
The agreement provides for a "Joint Hellenic-Turkish Standby Disaster Response Unit" which will allow the two countries to conduct training sessions for experts involved in international humanitarian operations carried out under the aegis of the UN. Both States will also participate in UN Disaster Assistance and Coordination missions and will jointly develop seminars and field exercises for increasing the Unit's preparedness to take part in international humanitarian operations.
The Memorandum was signed on Monday by Mr. Oshima, George Papandreou, the Foreign Minister of Greece, and Sukru Sina Gurel, Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister.