Duvar English- Reuters
Two democratic senators urged U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to encourage Turkey to remove its ships from the Eastern Mediterranean waters in what they described as "Greece’s exclusive economic zone".
Secretary of State Pompeo will meet with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias to discuss tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, after Turkey dispatched its vessel Oruç Reis in an area claimed by both Greece and Turkey.Ahead of today's meeting Ankara urges EU to stand against 'unjust decisions'
Senator Bob Menendez and Senator Chris Van Hollen, noted that Pompeo previously said that the United States “will not allow anyone, Turkey, to make unlawful drilling” and “we have told Turkey that actions in international waters are unacceptable and we will take diplomatic initiatives so that all actions that are to being taken are lawful.”
“The failure of the United States to act decisively at this critical time will only invite further Turkish escalation. Therefore, we urge you take all appropriate measures to ensure Turkey removes its naval vessels from Greece’s EEZ and adheres to its international obligations," the senators added.
The senators also urged Pompeo to "immediately begin to work with the European Union on a coordinated response to Turkey’s increasing provocations and illegal actions in the Eastern Mediterranean."
The meeting between Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo comes days after Turkey dispatched the seismic survey vessel Oruç Reis to an area of sea claimed by both nations, saying it will operate there until Aug. 23.
Turkey has said it plans to issue gas exploration and drilling licences in the region, somewhere between the Greek island of Crete and Cyprus, this month.
NATO allies Greece and Turkey vehemently disagree about their overlapping claims on hydrocarbon resources in the eastern Meditteranean, based on conflicting views of how far their continental shelves extend in waters dotted with islands.
Turkey's latest moves, days after Greece signed a maritime deal with Egypt which angered Ankara, have further raised tensions with its neighbour, ending a brief period of calm brokered by Germany.Erdoğan says only solution in east Med is dialogue, as France increases military presence in region