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Pompeo calls for Turkey to withdraw forces from East Med

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Jerusalem, on 24 August 2020 [DEBBIE HILL/AFP/Getty Images]

Ahead of his visit to Cyprus, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called for Turkey to withdraw its forces from the East Mediterranean, news agencies reported on Friday.

Pompeo is visiting Qatar, AFP reported, to participate in the inaugural meeting between the Taliban and the Afghan government, brokered by Doha.

Pompeo expressed that his visit to Cyprus aims to complete communications conducted by the US President Donald Trump with his Turkish counterpart President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

He told reporters onboard his flight that the dispute between Greece and Turkey: “Has to be resolved in a way that’s diplomatic and peaceful. So, I’ll be working on that project as well, trying to make sure that I understand the risks that are associated from the people of Cyprus’ perspective.”

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Pompeo noted the German efforts of deescalating tension, and indicated that France has backed Greece and Cyprus.

“We hope there will be real conversations and we hope the military assets that are there will be withdrawn so that these conversations can take place,” Pompeo added.

The trip of the US official comes shortly after the US lifted a decades-old arms embargo on Cyprus, outraging Turkey.

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