The US State Department calls on Turkey to cease all provocative actions in the eastern Mediterranean, a spokesperson told Greek reporters at a press briefing on Tuesday.
“The United States is aware that Turkey has issued a NAVTEX for research in disputed waters in the Eastern Mediterranean. We urge Turkish authorities to halt any plans for operations and to avoid steps that raise tensions in the region,” reporters were told.
Turkey issued a NAVTEX on Tuesday, blocking the sea area southeast of Kastelorizo island to carry out seismic surveys until August 2.
Greece files demarche over NAVTEX, calling Turkey to cease its illegal activities
The Greek embassy in Ankara filed a protest demarche with the Turkish Foreign Affairs Ministry on Tuesday, following the new illegal NAVTEX issued for the maritime zone SE of Kastelorizo.
According to a statement by the Greek Foreign Affairs Ministry, Greek authorities have already raised the issue with the European Union, NATO and the United Nations, as well as with capitals of permanent members of the UN Security Council.
“Today’s announcement of Turkish surveys in a section of the Greek continental shelf through a new illegal NAVTEX constitutes an escalation of tension in our region,” the ministry said.
It added that the act “highlights Turkey’s persistence in violating international legality and its complete contempt for International Law, the International Law of the Sea, the rules governing good neighbourly relations and the urgings of the European Union.”
In conclusion, the statement said, “We call on Turkey to immediately cease its illegal activities, which violate our sovereign rights and undermine peace and security in the region. The only path to stability in the region is respect for international legality.”