Germany: "Solidarity" with Greece, Cyprus in Turkey dispute


Turkey pulled the vessel out in mid-September to "allow for diplomacy" ahead of an October 1 European Union summit.

Renewed Turkish gas exploration in the disputed areas would be "a major setback to efforts to de-escalate and thus also for the further development of EU-Turkey relations", Maas said.

"Our expectation from Greece is for it to withdraw its maximalist claims that are contrary to worldwide law. put an end to its exercises and military activities that increase tensions in the Aegean and the Mediterranean and to enter into a honest dialogue with us", the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.

Maas has adjusted his program as well, according to the German foreign ministry, and will not travel to Turkey on Wednesday as scheduled.

Greece has denounced Turkey's new illegal activities in the Greek continental shelf, south of the Greek island of Kastelorizo.

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This particular row was sparked when Turkey deployed the seismic research vessel and warships to the disputed waters on 10 August.

EURACTIV was informed that Germany, with the silent support of Italy and Spain, rejected Greece's proposal to activate automatic sanctions the first time Turkey takes new provocative action.

In an interview with Greek newspaper Kathimerini, Manfred Weber, the leader of the center-right European People's Party (EPP) in the European Parliament, lashed out against Turkey, saying the EU Council should send a clear message.

Another Turkish survey ship, Barbaros Hayreddin Pasa, is also conducting seismic work off Cyprus through November 9 as Turkey pushes for a regional conference to discuss a fair share of hydrocarbon resources discovered in the Mediterranean. We urge the European Council to send a clear message to Erdogan: "call the ship back to port and start talks or face sanctions", the Bavarian politician emphasised.

The two countries agreed to resume exploratory talks after the Oruc Reis was removed, but no date has yet been set for the negotiations - and frictions over the recent declaration of naval drills by each side in the Aegean Sea show growing animosity between them.

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