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US lost neutrality in Eastern Mediterranean row, says Turkey

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on 11 August, 2020 [Lukas Kabon/Anadolu Agency]
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on 11 August, 2020 [Lukas Kabon/Anadolu Agency]

The United States no longer appears impartial in the row over the Eastern Mediterranean, the spokesperson of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) Omer Celik said yesterday, according to Anadolu.

Celik declared that Washington's assessment of the East Med crisis has been "one-sided" and has not helped in efforts to relaunch dialogue.

"By only going to the Greek side [of Cyprus], not visiting the Turkish side, or visiting Greece twice in a month, by giving messages that are biased, [the US] loses its neutrality and does not make a positive contribution to the solution of this problem," Celik also said.

On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reiterated his opposition to unilateral actions amid disputes between countries and, in an interview with Greece newspaper Kathimerini, indicated that the US is prepared to "play any role that's appropriate and useful and constructive."

Turkey has previously condemned Greece for militarising the island of Chios in violation of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne.

Tensions between the neighbours have risen in recent months over claims to waters separating them which are believed to contain large stores of natural gas.

READ: Turkey issues warning over Greece militarisation of demilitarised island

Greece, with France's support, has disputed Turkey's energy exploration, trying to box in Turkish maritime territory based on small islands near the Turkish coast.

Turkey, the country with the longest coastline on the Mediterranean, has sent drill ships with a military escort to explore for energy on its continental shelf, saying Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus have rights in the region.

Last week, the countries agreed to hold talks in an effort to calm the situation.

Asia & AmericasCyprusEurope & RussiaGreeceMiddle EastNewsTurkeyUS
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