Jun 19 2019

Athens taking necessary action to address Turkish provocations - Greek defence minister

Greece, along with Cyprus, the European Union and other international actors, is taking all necessary action to address Turkey's Turkey’s provocations in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean, Kathimerini quoted the Greek Defence Minister as saying on Wednesday.

Evangelos Apostolakis’ comments arrive a day after the EU said it was considering the implementation of “appropriate” measures against Turkey over its gas drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean near northern Cyprus.

Athens has repeatedly said Turkey’s "provocative" actions raise the possibility for an incident in the Aegean and East Mediterranean and has called on the EU to take punitive measures against Turkey.

Turkish drilling vessel, the Fatih, has launched offshore operations in waters considered part of Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) despite warnings from western allies and Ankara this week announced it was sending a second ship to begin drilling for oil and gas in the eastern Mediterranean, amid soaring tension between Ankara and Athens over hydrocarbon exploration in oil-rich area.

Nicosia and Athens disagree with Ankara’s claims of drilling rights in the region. Turkey, the only nation to recognise the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, maintains that attempts by Cyprus to conduct gas exploration are a violation of the rights of the Turkish part of the divided island.

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