Pompeo Expresses US Deep Concerns over Turkey’s Action in Eastern Mediterranean


During a visit to Cyprus on Saturday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged Turkey to stop its activities stirring up tensions in the eastern Mediterranean.

Turkey, which is exploring gas and oil reserves in the Mediterranean, deployed an exploration ship last month, supported by military frigates, while Greece responded by conducting naval military exercises.

On Friday, Turkey’s Ministry of Defence announced that its forces conducted a search and rescue exercise off the coast of Libya in the eastern Mediterranean.

“We are deeply concerned about Turkey’s ongoing operations in the eastern Mediterranean,” Pompeo told reporters in Nicosia, after meeting with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides.

Pompeo stressed that the countries of the region need to resolve differences “diplomatically and peacefully,” including those related to security, energy resources and maritime delimitations.

On his part, Anastasiades welcomed the “firm position of the United States regarding the condemnation of the illegal Turkish exploration operations inside Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone.”

On 27 November 2019, Turkish President Recep Tayyib Erdogan signed a maritime border demarcation agreement with the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) headed by Fayez al-Sarraj.

GNA Interior Minister Fathi Bashagha said in press statements that the agreement is related to combating terrorism and illegal immigration.

For its part, the Interim Government which is based in the east and headed by Abdullah Al-Thinni, has rejected the agreement, considering it illegal and needing the approval of the Libyan Parliament.