The U.S. State Department was sharply criticised by the head of the Democrats in the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bob Menendez, for their illogical statement that Greece’s maritime space is “disputed.”
“Let’s be crystal clear—the only country “disputing” these waters is Turkey. These waters belong to Greece, and the State Department must unequivocally and publicly recognise that Turkey alone is responsible for the tension over them,” Menendez posted on Twitter.
Let’s be crystal clear—the only country “disputing” these waters is Turkey. These waters belong to Greece, and the State Department must unequivocally and publicly recognize that Turkey alone is responsible for the tension over them. https://t.co/iHG1gXVNH4
— Senator Bob Menendez (@SenatorMenendez) July 22, 2020
“We urge Turkish authorities to halt any plans for operations and to avoid steps that raise tensions in the region,” the spokesperson said and described the area south and east of the Greek island of Kastellorizo where Ankara plans to hold a seismic survey as “disputed waters.”
The U.S. has traditionally preferenced Turkey despite its hostilities and provocative actions, due to the geostrategic location. Under President Donald Trump, this has not changed at all, with his former National Security Adviser, John Bolton, describing Trump’s relations with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as a “bromance.”
However, Menendez appears to be breaking the pro-Turkey trend in Washington.
The Senator days ago participated in an event at the American Hellenic Institute on the 46th Anniversary of Turkey’s invasion of Cyprus.
“Turkey’s interference still impedes progress for peace. I have always believed that if not for Turkey’s meddling, the two communities could negotiate a durable peace and move towards a more prosperous future,” he said at the event.
“Unfortunately, Turkey’s illegal occupation remains the source of instability on the island,” he added and referred to the “disgraceful behaviour” in Varosha which he said “lays the groundwork for economic exploitation of the area.”
Varosha was a Greek city in the now occupied part of Cyprus that Turkey plans to reopen.
Menendez also criticised Turkey’s efforts to change the demographics of Cyprus by sending Turkish citizens to colonise the north.