The Eastern Mediterranean standoff continues to persist because of the “irreconcilable attitude” of Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration, Turkey’s parliament speaker said on Wednesday.

“The tension in the Eastern Mediterranean sparked by unilateral steps taken by Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration cannot be resolved due to their irreconcilable attitude,” Mustafa Sentop said in a meeting with German Ambassador Jurgen Schulz at the Turkish parliament.

He said the dispute is rooted in “Greece’s maximalist and unlawful attitude.”

“All of Turkey’s well-intentioned steps for a fair solution and calls for dialogue and negotiations without any preconditions have remained unanswered for years,” Sentop said.

“On every occasion, we have reiterated that we are open to cooperation, dialogue, and solution proposals.”

He stressed that Ankara will continue to protect the legitimate rights of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration have long been at odds with Turkey over maritime claims in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Ankara has rejected the maritime boundary claims of these EU members, saying they violate the sovereign rights of both Turkey and Turkish Cypriots.

In recent months, Turkey has sent several drill ships to explore for energy resources in the region, asserting its own rights and those of the TRNC.

Turkish leaders have repeatedly called for resolving all outstanding issues on the basis of international law, and through dialogue and negotiations.

Kuwait call

Sentop called his Kuwaiti counterpart Marzouq Ali al-Ghanim on Wednesday to congratulate him on his reelection.

Al-Ghanim, who has held the position since 2013, was reelected as speaker of Kuwait’s National Assembly on Tuesday.

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