ATHENS, Greece — Greece accused neighbor Turkey of sabotaging efforts to facilitate a crisis over drilling rights from the eastern Mediterranean on Monday after Turkey announced its poll vessel could be discharged for a brand new research assignment in contested waters.
The state-run Anadolu Agency stated the Turkish hunt boat, Oruc Reis, left the port of Antalya on Monday, to restart its poll of hydrocarbon resources from the eastern Mediterranean. A global maritime security advisory, or Navtex, issued on Sunday reported the mining would continue before Oct. 22.
Greece’s Foreign Ministry on Monday called the decision a”major escalation plus an immediate threat to security and peace in the area.”
Ankara and Athens had previously this month agreed, under NATO’s auspices, to establish a system to prevent potential military conflicts and injuries, such as a hotline.
Both countries had agreed to restart so-called “exploratory talks” aimed at developing confidence and resolving disputes that were held in 2016.
The Turkish boat’s return comes a day after Turkey’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement accusing Greece of”insincerity” for what it stated was Athens’ continued activities to boost tension whilst announcing itself to be prepared for a dialog. Turkey retaliated by announcing exercises on Oct. 28, ” the announcement said.
Turkey had pulled the Orus Reis to coast a month for maintenance and resupply a month, saying the move would provide”diplomacy an opportunity.”
Turkey faces the threat of sanctions in the European Union, which includes sided from the dispute together with member nations Greece and Cyprus.