East Med on track with US backing
In what is seen as a response to the trilateral summit next Wednesday in Jerusalem between Greece, Israel and Cyprus, with the participation of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Turkey has announced that it will start a naval exercise on the same day off the Mediterranean island's southern coast and within part of its exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
During the summit, which has received Washington's blessing, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and their Israeli host Benjamin Netanyahu are expected to sign an agreement that will pave the way for the construction of the EastMed pipeline to transfer natural gas from the Eastern Mediterranean to Europe.
Turkey said the exercise will take place on March 20, 22, 25 and 27 and it has reserved a wide area south of Cyprus, including parts of blocks 1, 7 and 8 of the island's EEZ.
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