EU concerned over Turkey’s energy exploration in E.Mediterranean

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Brussels, Aug 10 (IANS) Josep Borrell, the European Union’s (EU) High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, has expressed concerns over Turkey resuming energy exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.

“Latest naval mobilizations in Eastern Mediterranean are extremely worrying. They will not contribute to finding any solutions,” Xinhua news agency quoted Borrell as saying in a statement on Sunday.

“On the contrary, they will lead to a greater antagonism and distrust,” he added.

On August 7, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had announced that Ankara had resumed drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, a day after Egyptian and Greek foreign ministers signed an agreement on the demarcation of the maritime borders between the two countries and setting up an exclusive economic zone in the Mediterranean Sea.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said “all the items of the agreement comply with the rules of international law and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea”.

But the Turkish Foreign Ministry responded by saying that the deal was “null and void”.

In his statement on Sunday, Borrell said: “Maritime boundaries must be defined through dialogue and negotiations, not through unilateral actions and mobilization of naval forces.”

The High Representative further said that he will try to re-establish a dialogue and facilitate re-engagement.

“The present course of action will not serve the interests neither of the EU, nor of Turkey. We have to work together for the security in the Mediterranean.”

Erdogan’s announcement follows tensions between Turkey and its NATO ally Greece over the energy resources in the region as Ankara has been opposing the drilling efforts of several countries there without its involvement.

Ankara has maintained that sea boundaries for commercial exploitation should be divided between the Greek and Turkish mainlands and not include the Greek islands on an equal basis.

Greece contends that Turkey’s position is a violation of international law.

–IANS

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