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Germany opposes imposition of arms embargo on Turkey

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in Berlin, Germany November 17, 2020 [REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/Pool/Anadolu Agency]
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas in Berlin, Germany November 17, 2020 [REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke/Pool/Anadolu Agency]

Germany opposes a request submitted by Greece to impose an arms embargo on Turkey over tensions between the two countries in the Eastern Mediterranean region, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said yesterday.

In remarks to Germany's DPA news agency, Maas said Greece's request to the European Union (EU) to impose an arms embargo on Turkey was "strategically incorrect".

"Turkey; a NATO member, could easily purchase missiles from Russia when it was unable to obtain them from the United States," he added.

A few days ago, Greece said it had asked several times to include the issue of imposing an arms embargo on Turkey to the European Union's agenda over Ankara's maritime activities in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

On 12 October, Turkey dispatched a ship to look for hydrocarbon resources in the area between the islands of Kastellorizo and Rhodes, claiming the area is included within its maritime borders. Claims Greece refutes.

International law stipulates that disputed Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZs) for islands between countries should be resolved through bilateral talks, which Greece and its allies have been rejecting and leaving coasts for Turkey which can only be used for swimming.

READ: EU imposes sanctions on Turkey officials involved in gas drillings

The ship was later withdrawn.

In August, Turkey resumed energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean after Greece and Egypt signed a controversial maritime delimitation deal, spurning Turkey's goodwill gesture in halting explorations.

Declaring the Greek-Egyptian deal "null and void", Turkey authorised the Oruc Reis to continue activities in an area within Turkey's continental shelf.

Turkey has consistently opposed Greece's efforts to declare an exclusive economic zone based on small islands near Turkish shores, violating the interests of Turkey, the country with the longest coastline on the Mediterranean.

Ankara has also said energy resources near the island of Cyprus must be shared fairly between the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and the Greek Cypriot administration of Southern Cyprus.

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EUEurope & RussiaGermanyGreeceInternational OrganisationsNewsTurkey
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