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Turkey and Greece are 'playing with fire', Germany FM warns

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in Munich, Germany on 16 February 2020 [Abdulhamid Hoşbaş/Anadolu Agency]
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in Munich, Germany on 16 February 2020 [Abdulhamid Hoşbaş/Anadolu Agency]

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas yesterday urged Greek and Turkish goverments to solve their dispute over overlapping resource claims in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, warning that this could spark a disaster, Euronews reported.

During a joint press conference with his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias, Maas stressed the importance of the de-escalation of tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean.

"The current situation in the Eastern Mediterranean is like playing with fire and the smallest spark could cause disaster and this is not in anyone's interest," he said.

Greece and Turkey have traded barbs over offshore hydrocarbon exploration efforts, drawing the European Union and other nearby countries into the dispute, which earlier this month involved a light collision between Turkish and Greek frigates.

READ: Turkey has a legitimate presence in the Mediterranean Sea

Meanwhile, Turkey has extended the exploration mission of its Oruc Reis survey ship in a disputed part of the Eastern Mediterranean, stoking tensions in the region. Athens has called the survey illegal.

The two NATO allies disagree over claims to hydrocarbon resources in the area based on conflicting views on the extent of their continental shelves in waters dotted with mostly Greek islands.

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Europe & RussiaGermanyGreeceNewsTurkey
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