USA cautions Turkey as it provokes with illegal drilling in Cyprus territory

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Greece’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Saturday condemning Turkey’s latest provocation by carrying out illegal drilling in Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Greece has urged Turkey to "immediately cease its illegal activities, to respect the inalienable rights of the sovereign Republic of Cyprus that it exercises in the interests of all the Cypriot people and to avoid further actions that undermine stability in the region as well as the resumption of talks for a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem."

It also praised "the calm and composed stance of the Republic of Cyprus, which reaffirms its role as a pillar of stability and a credible partner in the Eastern Mediterranean."

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"Greece reminds the March 2018 European Council Conclusions and the subsequent EU positions and remains in constant communication and coordination with the Republic of Cyprus and its EU partners and allies regarding the next steps," the Foreign Ministry's announcement concluded.

Meanwhile the US State Department immediately issued a statement saying that “the United States is deeply concerned by Turkey’s announced intentions to begin offshore drilling operations in an area claimed by the Republic of Cyprus as its Exclusive Economic Zone. This step is highly provocative and risks raising tensions in the region. We urge Turkish authorities to halt these operations and encourage all parties to act with restraint.


* Map credit: Gefira