On Tuesday, Germany called on Greece and Turkey to resolve their dispute over a disputed area in the eastern Mediterranean that is rich in hydrocarbons through direct dialogue and warns of a risk of military confrontation.
Following a renewed tension between Greece and Turkey, on Tuesday 25 August, Germany called on the two countries to resolve their dispute through direct dialogue on a disputed area in the eastern Mediterranean that is rich in hydrocarbons.
“The current situation in the eastern Mediterranean is like playing with fire,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said during a visit to Athens. “Every little spark can start a disaster.”
Heiko Maas, who will also hold talks with Turkish officials on Tuesday, assured that Germany and its European partners support Greece in this dispute with Turkey.
For his part, the Greek Foreign Minister, Nikos Dendias, stated after this meeting with his German counterpart that Greece was ready for dialogue but that it would defend its sovereign rights, while Turkey continued, according to him, its “provocations” and “violations of international law”. He added that the dispute with Turkey was a problem for the whole of the European Union and its security.
Seismic exploration for hydrocarbons involved
The head of Turkish diplomacy, Mevlut Cavusoglu, for his part, called on the European Union to play a role as an “honest and objective” mediator, while criticizing the Greek position.
“We are open to unconditional discussions,” he assured during a joint press conference with Heiko Maas in Ankara. “But when one of the parties starts to impose conditions, there is a lot we can present as well. First and foremost, Greece must give up its maximalist strategy.”
Turkey’s launch of seismic oil exploration operations two weeks ago, with the expansion of the Turkish vessel Oruç Reis in an area between Crete and Cyprus, has increased tensions in the region, where Greece considers this illegal initiative as it violates its underwater domain.
On Monday, Greece issued a navigation announcement called Navtex, indicating that it would organize naval maneuvers on Tuesday in an area off the Greek island of Crete where Oruis Reis already operates.
This announcement prompted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to warn Athens, saying that Greece saw “chaos” in the Mediterranean.