Turkey and U.S. discussed reducing tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and his US counterpart Mike Pompeo discussed the reduction of tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean and the political situation in Libya at a Sunday meeting in the capital of the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo.
In a written statement by the US State Department, Cavusoglu and Pompeo discussed issues of common concern, including the reduction of tensions between regional actors in the Eastern Mediterranean, where Turkey is engaged in energy exploration.
After the conference, Cavusoglu said that they had also discussed the situation in Libya and decided to start consultations with experts.
Tensions have been rising in the region following Greece's controversial new maritime pact with Egypt. Greek defense sources announced joint military drills on Thursday in the Eastern Mediterranean, along with France, which sought to dock in Turkey 's maritime territory.
The drills followed Turkey's resumption of energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean on 10 August, just after the signing of the Greek-Egyptian Maritime Pact, which Turkey called illegal. Ankara had temporarily halted the exploration of the MTA Oruç Reis seismic research vessel to allow diplomatic talks to take place in vain.
Turkey has consistently challenged the unilateral drilling of the Greek Cypriot administration in the Eastern Mediterranean, claiming that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) also has natural resources rights in the area.
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