Greece's Alternate Minister for Migration, Giorgos Koumoutsakos, has said that Athens was pleased with Turkey's decision to limit the working area of seismic research vessel Oruç Reis to an area off the coast of Antalya.
“This is a positive development,” Koumoutsakos told Greek broadcaster Skai, Deutsche Welle's Turkish service reported on Dec. 23.
The designated geographical area is seen by Greek analysts as a good-will gesture from Ankara which could open the door to the resumption of exploratory talks with Athens.
Turkey said on Dec. 22 that its Oruç Reis seismic research vessel will survey an area off the country's southern coast until June 15, 2021. The area is within Turkey's internationally-recognized waters.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said last week that Turkey will not abandon its rights and interest in the Eastern Mediterranean because of the possible EU sanctions.
Turkey withdrew Oruç Reis from disputed areas ahead of two EU summits, leading European Council President Charles Michel to say that a game of "cat-and-mouse" between EU and Ankara must end.