Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades was briefed on Tuesday by the Greek Premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis on the situation in Greece’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone, where Turkey’s seismic exploration vessel is currently stationed, with the two leaders agreeing on coordinated action.
In a written statement, Cyprus’ Government Spokesman Kyriakos Koushios said that the Greek Prime Minister informed the President, by phone, on the situation and the contacts he had with EU officials and head of states and governments following Turkey’s actions, which he claimed violate international law and Law of the Sea.
The two leaders, Koushos said, coordinated their actions and agreed on further steps to be taken to deal with Turkey’s provocations, while vowing to remain in close contact.
Erdogan calls on East Med states to reach ‘formula acceptable for all’
Only hours after Turkey announced plans to issue gas exploration and drilling licences in the Eastern Mediterranean, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged states in the region to agree on a commonly accepted “formula.”
“Let’s all Mediterranean countries come together. Let’s find a formula acceptable for all and that protects the rights of all,” he said after a cabinet meeting, according to state-run Anadolu agency.
According to the report, Erdogan said that Turkey had paused seismic research activities in the region at the request of German Chancellor Angela Merkel “as a gesture of good will,” before slamming Greece for signing a maritime boundaries agreement with Egypt last week.
“The Greek side has shown once again that it does not act in good faith and has turned to an agreement with Egypt that has no legal basis,” Erdogan said, according to the report.
“No way Turkey will consent to any initiative trying to lock the country to its shores, ignoring the vast Turkish territory of 780,000 square meters,” he was quoted as saying.
“Turkey will continue to implement its own plans in the field and diplomatic area until common sense prevails on the issue,” he reportedly said.
Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias earlier Tuesday said the country will not accept a fait accompli in the Eastern Mediterranean and called on the Turkish government to withdraw its survey ship from the area.
Commission: East Med developments ‘extremely worrying’
The escalating tensions between Greece and Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean is “extremely worrying,” European Commission foreign affairs spokesman Peter Stano said.
“We agree that the situation in the eastern Mediterranean is extremely worrying and needs to be solved in dialogue and not in a series and sequence of steps that are increasing the escalation and the tension,” he told journalists, adding that the EU stands "in full solidatity" with Greece and Cyprus.
Asked about Greece’s announced intention to request for an emergency EU Foreign Affairs Council, he said these are “always an issue of consultations among the member states” and that the appeal would be reviewed once Greece makes a formal request.