U.S. Senator Robert Menendez announced the United States will no longer tolerate Turkey’s violations in the Eastern Mediterranean.
“We made it clear that we will no longer accept Turkey’s aggression in the Eastern Mediterranean region,” he told Cypriot media ahead of his unofficial visit to the country today, April 15, 2019.
The comments were made in response to Turkey trying to keep out foreign energy companies, including ExxonMobil, from drilling for oil and gas off the island where it is licensed.
The U.S. Senator said Americans “need to increase the support that will allow Greece to fulfill its commitments under NATO” and to lift the arms embargo against the Republic of Cyprus, that imposed in 1987 in order to encourage reunification by preventing an arms race on the island.
A bill aiming to lift the arms embargo on Cyprus was introduced last year to the U.S. Congress but was not enacted.
Turkey has been in a bitter dispute with the United States over the detention of some American citizens in the country and Ankara’s deal on purchasing a Russian defence system, and also with Greece and Cyprus over the island’s exclusive economic zone and drilling hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean.