Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday the US hopes forthcoming Greek and Turkish talks to resolve maritime disputes in the eastern Mediterranean will lead to better bilateral relations between the neighbors.
“We’ve said all along the way conflict is resolved is not through shows of force, it’s not through demonstrations of power, it’s through dialogue. It’s through international systems, agreement, conversations, dialogue. That’s how these maritime disputes ought to be resolved,” Pompeo said during an interview with Greece’s Athens News Agency.
“We hope the exploratory talks not only get kicked off right, but it’s important that they’re resolved in a way that delivers outcomes that each of the two nations find more than acceptable,” he added.
Addressing the UN General Assembly on Friday, Greek Premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis hailed the forthcoming talks with Ankara as “a step in the right direction”.
“If President Erdogan really believes the UN stands as a beacon of hope and a bastion of global cooperation, I would urge him to act in accordance with this fact,” he said, referring to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Greece, with France’s support, has disputed Turkey’s 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 drill ships with a military escort to explore for energy on its continental shelf, saying that Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus also have rights in the region.
To reduce tensions, Turkey has called for dialogue to ensure fair sharing of the region’s resources.
The 61st round of exploratory talks between Turkey and Greece will start soon, the Greek Foreign Ministry said last week.