Germany’s defense minister on Wednesday urged for countries in the Eastern Mediterranean to make a fair agreement that involved all parties to resolve tensions in the region.
“It means much more than tensions between neighboring countries, it has an influence on our cooperation,” Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer told reporters after an EU defense ministers meeting in Berlin.
According to Kramp-Karrenbauer, the bloc needs “to work as fast as possible to relax the tensions and transform them into negotiations.”
European diplomacy aims at reaching “a fair agreement with all the parties involved” which implies a “difficult and complicated process,” she added.
Kramp-Karrenbauer also said she had agreed with her counterparts from Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration that fears of unintentional escalation needed to be defused first in order to start political negotiations.
EU foreign ministers will also discuss the issue on Thursday and Friday, along with the situations in Belarus, Libya, the bloc’s strategy towards Russia, and the geopolitical implications of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Greece has disputed Turkey’s current energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean, 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 out drillships to explore for energy on its continental shelf, saying that both Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) have rights in the region.
Dialogue for fairly sharing these resources will be a win-win for all sides, say Turkish officials.
During a meeting on Tuesday with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas seeking to meditate the Mediterranean dispute, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu expressed a willingness to engage in dialogue but also objected to Greek neglect of international law and rising tensions in the region.
Turkey has also called foul on Athens seeking EU support for blocking Ankara’s legitimate energy exploration.
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