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‘Turkey is ready for sincere talks with Greece,’ envoy says

September 10, 2020 at 2:35 pm

Turkish Ambassador to the UK Umit Yalcin, 8 October 2019 [Twitter]

Turkey is ready for sincere talks with Greece, the country’s ambassador to the UK wrote in a letter published in the Guardian.

Turkey and Greece are at odds over overlapping claims for hydrocarbon resources, brought into sharper focus by attempts of EU member Cyprus to also explore for natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean amid strong Turkish objections.

In the letter published on 6 October, Umit Yalcin wrote: “Turkey has been inviting relevant parties to engage in negotiations based on international law and the principle of equity since 2003 for the delimitation of exclusive economic zones.”

“Yet the Greek side has never engaged in sincere dialogue, in order to delay and avoid concrete negotiations,” he says.

Mentioning EU support for the Greek government, Yalcin added: “The latest attempts by Germany to bring about the resumption of talks were sabotaged by Greece twice – first by signing an agreement on the issue with Egypt, then refusing to talk to Turkey.”

READ: Without dialogue with Turkey, the EU’s energy security is endangered

Last August, Greece and Egypt signed a maritime border deal, amid heightened tensions with Turkey over natural resources in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The tensions between Greece and Turkey escalated after Ankara dispatched the Oruc Reis seismic survey vessel in a disputed area following the pact between Athens and Cairo.