Borrell, Turkey FM agree on need to de-escalate East Med tensions

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EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in a telephone conversation with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu agreed on the need to de-escalate tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean and will revisit the matter in late August.

Borrell tweeted: “Following Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) discussion on Turkey and further rise of tensions in East Med, I spoke with Mevlut Cavusoglu.

We agreed on need to de-escalate tensions and meet ahead of informal Gymnich Council. We also agreed to work together on ceasefire in Libya in framework of Berlin process.”

Earlier Thursday Borrell spoke with the Libyan PM Al Serraj.

“De-escalation around Sirte/Jufra, agreement on credible ceasefire, urgent resumption of oil production remain common priorities.

We must work together within the Berlin process to end conflict with genuine commitment from all sides to save unity of Libya.”

US concerned

Washington is “deeply concerned” about Turkey’s plans to survey for energy resources in designated maritime zones of Greece and Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean, Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs Philip T. Reeker said.

Reeker on a three-day visit to Brussels spoke to the press via videoconference.

“As you heard the US is deeply concerned about Turkey’s stated plans to survey for natural resources in areas over which Greece and Cyprus assert jurisdiction in the Eastern Mediterranean.

We are concerned about actions that are provocative and raise tensions in the region.”

Reeker underlined that resource development in the East Med is something that should promote cooperation; provide a foundation for durable energy, security and economic prosperity throughout the region.

“You know as I do, this is a complex strategic space.

We want our friends and allies in the region – just remember we Turkey, Greece and the US are all NATO allies – to approach these issues in a spirit of cooperation.

I will just echo the message we have given before from Washington, as well as elsewhere in Europe, urging Turkish authorities to hold operations that raise tensions.

We will continue to raise this message…We keep in touch with both our Embassies in Athens and Ankara, monitoring the situation closely.” (source CNA)