Greece, US warn Ankara against drilling off Cyprus’ Karpas Peninsula

By George Gilson

Straight on the heels of a US State Department statement of concern, the Greek foreign ministry has condemned Ankara's fresh attempt to drill in the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus, off the Turkish-occupied Karpas Peninsula.

"This illegal action shows blatant disregard for International Law, the Law of the Sea and the condemnation of the international community and it constitutes further escalation that undermines the stability and security of the Eastern Mediterranean region," the ministry statement read.

"This provocative conduct on the part of Turkey at the expense of the sovereign rights of an EU member-state is a far cry from the conduct expected of a candidate for EU membership and lends further credence to the 20 June decision taken by the European Council regarding appropriate measures to be taken against Turkey," it added.

The Council had asked the European Commission to come up with a list of sanctions against Turkey but that has not moved forward as yet.

It is the first condemnation of Turkey's actions in the Eastern Mediterranean since New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis took power and appointed veteran conservative MP Nikos Dendias, an attorney, as foreign minister.

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The ministry's condemnation came just one day after Mitsotakis discussed the regional situation for 20 minutes with US Vice President Mike Pence and following a stern State Department statement criticising Ankara.

"The United States remains deeply concerned by Turkey's repeated attempts to conduct drilling operations in the waters off Cyprus and its most recent dispatch of the drillship Yavuz off the Karpas Peninsula. This provocative step raises...

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