Athens urges Turkey to follow ‘responsible stance’ on energy
Athens hit back at Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday in an ongoing row between the NATO allies over maritime borders in the Aegean and hydrocarbon drilling in the gas-rich Mediterranean sea, urging Ankara to show “responsible stance,’’ Greek newspaper Kathimerini reported.
“Turkish provocations undermine regional stability at a critical juncture, demonstrating the shakiness of Turkey’s legal arguments,” the paper quoted the Greek Foreign Ministry as saying.
The statement follows criticism from Erdoğan earlier on Tuesday levelled at Greece and Cyprus for what he described as they “reckless behaviour” in the Aegean and Mediterranean which would ‘’threaten’’ them.
“Whatever their differences, the other countries of the Eastern Mediterranean recognize that energy must become a bridge for dialog and cooperation in our region. Instead of insisting on its threats and illegal claims, Turkey ought to follow this responsible stance,” the Greek Foreign Ministry added.
The area around Cyprus holds potentially huge reserves of natural gas, and while a host of foreign states and companies have made agreements with the Greek Republic of Cyprus to conduct gas exploration, Turkey, as the only country to recognise the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, has firmly opposed exploration that it says will infringe on Turkish Cypriots’ rights.
Tensions have also soared between Athens and Ankara over the Aegean in the past year, where both sides’ navies have jostled over disputed islets amid a a high number of standoffs between opposing fighter jets.
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