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Expanding US-Greece cooperation could harm Turkey ties, Turkish analyst warns

TAGS: US, Turkey, Defense, Security

The expansion of military cooperation between the United States and Greece could stretch the US-Turkey relationship, a Turkish analyst has warned.

“As much as it may appear that the US and Turkey are beginning a new phase on Libya, other actors in the region are doing everything in their power to prevent Turkish-American cooperation in Libya,” Ali Cinar, a foreign policy expert on US-Turkey relations, wrote in a commentary published on the website of Turkish state broadcaster TRT.

The analyst notes that the Pentagon has activated the use of military bases and facilities in Greece’s northern port city of Alexandroupoli amid rising tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean, particularly after Ankara issued a Navtex for seismic surveys in a sea area between Cyprus and Crete.

He also takes note of remarks by US Ambassador to Athens Geoffrey Pyatt who sided with Greece over the contentious maritime boundaries agreement signed between Turkey and Libya by saying that all Greek islands, regardless of size, are entitled to continental shelf and exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

“The US needs to be more transparent and open in every exercise carried on with Greece,” Cinar wrote, cautioning Washington against “stretching relations with Turkey even more.”

The US and Greece last tear signed a revised defense cooperation pact providing for increasing joint US-Greece and NATO activity at Larissa, Stefanovikio, and Alexandroupoli as well as infrastructure and other improvements at the Souda Bay naval base in Crete.
 

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