Cyprus–Turkey maritime zones dispute
In a sign that Ankara is further ratcheting up tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez suggested that the country's plans to start drilling off Cyprus are within its sovereign rights, calling on "all sides to respect the research and drilling exercises within our continental shelf."
European Council President Donald Tusk says the European Union "stands united" behind Cyprus as tensions between the Mediterranean island nation and Turkey escalate over offshore gas drilling.
Speaking Thursday after an informal EU summit in Romania, Tusk said the EU "expects Turkey to respect the sovereign rights" of its member nation and the bloc will closely monitor the situation.
Greece and Cyprus have responded with calm and caution to the tension being stirred up in the Eastern Mediterranean by a Turkey that feels isolated. At the same time, they are taking advantage of regional cooperation schemes and international alliances that have cross-party and long-term support domestically, and are therefore likely to remain unchanged.