US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described Turkey’s actions in the eastern Mediterranean as “provocative,” calling on Ankara to reduce tension in the disputed region with Cyprus.
On Friday, Pompeo had a phone call with his Cypriot counterpart, Nikos Christodoulides. The two sides discussed next steps to further enhance bilateral cooperation between Cyprus and the United States.
The US Secretary of State also expressed during the call “his grave concern about the reopening of a deserted beach in northern Cyprus,” describing it as a provocative step.
The Turkish maritime authorities had announced that a research vessel had been sent again for a seismic survey in the eastern Mediterranean.
Reuters has reported that the vessel “Oruc Reis” will resume exploration activities in the eastern Mediterranean, accompanied by the Turkish vessels “Ataman” and “Genghis Khan”, and they will continue to operate in an area including the island of Kastellorizo from October 12 to October 22.
On the other hand, the Greek Foreign Ministry described the decision as “a major escalation and a direct threat to peace and security in the region,” and a German government spokesman, Stephen Seibert, considered it “a very regrettable and an unwise step.”
In a strongly worded statement, a few days ago, the US State Department said that the United States “condemns” Turkey’s decision, which came after the decline in tension with Greece.
The leaders of the European Union had agreed on October 2 to give Turkey a deadline until early December, before considering the issue of imposing economic sanctions.