Germany strongly urged Turkish authorities to de-escalate rising tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean. Anxiety in the region is rapidly increasing due to the re-entry of the Turkish naval survey vessel MTA Oruç Reis into maritime waters contested by Turkey, Greece and Cyprus as it searches for possible hydrocarbon deposits. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas stated, “If there should be renewed Turkish gas exploration in the more controversial sea areas in the Eastern Mediterranean, this would be a serious setback for efforts to de-escalate.” Maas added, “Ankara must end the cycle of détente and provocation if the government is interested in talks” and that dialogue between the sides is being adversely affected by Turkey’s “unilateral measures.” He also pledged Germany’s “full solidarity” to fellow EU nations Greece and Cyprus in their friction with Turkey. Maas is set to travel to the Eastern Mediterranean this week to visit Greece and Cyprus. Turkish sources note he is also scheduled to visit Ankara.
Wake up to the Trusted Mideast News source Mideast Daily News Email