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22 October, 2020
 
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NAVTEX wars continue in eastern Med

Greece responds to Turkey with its own NAVTEX, Nicosia and Athens condemn ‘unauthorized and illegal’ activities

Newsroom

Athens has issued an advisory to mariners concerning Greek air and naval forces conducting exercises in an area that overlaps with the one reserved by Ankara in a similar advisory issued on Sunday.

On Sunday, Turkey extended a navigation advisory (NAVTEX) regarding seismic surveys for oil and natural gas in the eastern Mediterranean, south of the island of Kastellorizo, until Thursday.

The legality of the Turkish NAVTEX, which is being contested by Greece, was to expire Sunday at midnight.

On the same day, the Greek advisory reserved areas in the wider area of southeastern Crete, Karpathos, Rhodes and south of Kastellorizo from Tuesday through Thursday.

The two NATO countries have been engaged in a long dispute over the divided island of Cyprus as well as maritime zones and exclusive economic claims in the area

The two NATO countries have been engaged in a long dispute over the divided island of Cyprus as well as maritime zones and exclusive economic claims in the area, with dialogue prospects recently diminishing over renewed tensions in the region.

Both Athens and Nicosia issued anti-NAVTEX warnings Sunday night, warning mariners that the Turkish NAVTEX was referring to “unauthorized and illegal” activities and operations, referring to seismic surveys by Turkish vessel Oruc Reis and accompanying ships Ataman and Cengiz Han.

On Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that Turkey has carried out the largest natural gas reserve exploration in the Black Sea.

Reports said Ankara was prepared to carry out further explorations, including ongoing surveys in the eastern Mediterranean.

EU officials have called on Turkey to sit at the negotiating table, after Ankara withdrew from scheduled German-brokered talks with Greece.
Athens said it was open for talks on certain issues but Ankara pulled out after Greece and Egypt signed a partial deal on maritime borders.

Turkey has accused Athens of “unlawful” and “maximalist” positions in the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean seas.

TAGS
Cyprus  |  Greece  |  Turkey  |  Nicosia  |  Athens  |  Ankara  |  NAVTEX  |  maritime  |  natural gas  |  oil

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