ATHENS and YEREVAN (Combined Sources) — The diplomatic agencies of Armenia and Turkey have renewed their acrimonious exchange over the weekend after Yerevan voiced support for Greece and Cyprus in their dispute with Ankara over the latter’s Mediterranean gas and oil search effort.
“We closely follow the latest developments and naval mobilization in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean caused by the Turkish illegal and provocative actions. This destabilizing posturing in the Eastern Mediterranean manifests continued aggressive and expansionist policy that Turkey has been pursuing in its neighboring regions,” Armenia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement released on August 15. (See related editorial on page 18.)
Turkey dispatched scientific vessel Oruc Reis on Monday, August 17, into disputed waters not far from Cyprus to search for oil and gas in the energy-rich waters. The move prompted Greece to dispatch its own military vessels to monitor the situation and sparked a war of words between the two rivals.
The EU and Greece both claim Turkey’s drilling in the region is illegal. EU lawmakers condemned Turkey’s naval movements during a video conference on Friday and urged de-escalation.
The Oruc Reis, which is between Cyprus and the Greek island of Crete, will continue work until August 23, he added.
“We reiterate Armenia’s unequivocal support and solidarity with Greece and Cyprus and call on Turkey to de-escalate the situation, respect the International Law and cease all actions within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Greece and Cyprus,” it added.