Turkish FM Çavuşoğlu discusses Eastern Mediterranean with EU counterparts
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu held calls with the foreign ministers of Bulgaria, Estonia, Finland, Hungary and Lithuania ahead of an emergency meeting of the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council to discuss the situation in the eastern Mediterranean.
Turkey's foreign minister held phone conversations with his Hungarian, Lithuanian, Estonian, Finlander and Bulgarian counterparts on Thursday, according to the information gained from the official sources working at the Turkish Foreign Ministry.
Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto discussed recent matters related to the Eastern Mediterranean.
In a separate phone conversation, Çavuşoğlu also addressed the recent developments in the Eastern Mediterranean with his Lithuanian and Bulgarian, Estonian and Finlander counterparts.
The phone calls came ahead of European Union's extraordinary Foreign Affairs Council, which is to be held on Friday to address recent tensions between Athens and Ankara in the Eastern Mediterranean after Turkey announced it would continue seismic research and surveying with its drillship.
As part of the country's hydrocarbon surveying activities, Turkey issued a NAVTEX (navigational telex) on Aug. 10, 2020, announcing that its Oruç Reis vessel would begin conducting fresh seismic research in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Turkey's decision came following a controversial delimitation deal signed between Greece and Egypt, only a day after Turkey said it would postpone its activities in the region as a sign of goodwill after mediation efforts from Germany.
But after declaring the deal "null and void," Turkey authorized the Oruç Reis to continue its activities in an area that is within Turkey's continental shelf.
The ship will continue seismic activities in the Eastern Mediterranean along with the Cengiz Han and Ataman vessels until Aug. 23.
Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration's unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) also has rights to the resources in the area.
Turkey's decision to announce new exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean raised alarms in Greece on Monday as Athens responded with its own notice and by placing its navy on alert.