On Sunday, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, urged Turkey to immediately end its renewed drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.
“I call on the Turkish authorities to end these activities immediately, and to engage fully and in good faith in broad dialogue with the European Union”, he said in a statement.
Turkey announced it had renewed drilling activities in a maritime zone which has been delineated by Cyprus and Egypt. This regrettably fuels further tensions, and insecurity in the eastern Mediterranean.
“This action runs counter to, and undermines efforts to resume dialogue, negotiations, and to pursue immediate de-escalation, which is the only path towards stability, and lasting solutions”, the EU Foreign Ministers reiterated last Friday.
A standoff has intensified in recent weeks between Turkey and Greece over oil and gas exploration rights at sea. A minor collision between their frigates last week was also recorded.
Cairo and Athens signed a maritime zoning deal earlier this month, while Paris has stepped in to criticise what it calls “Turkey’s provocations”. Ankara has stressed that it will not back down from defending its legal rights.