Greek ambassador summoned to Turkish foreign ministry

Greek ambassador summoned to Turkish foreign ministry

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry summoned the Greek ambassador, private broadcaster CNN Turk said on Tuesday, days after it called on Greece to avoid escalating long-standing disputes in the Mediterranean Sea.

CNN Turk did not give further details about the meeting, which two Greek government sources said had been scheduled.

Last week, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said the Turkey’s navy had stopped a Greek frigate from harassing a Turkish research vessel in the Mediterranean, calling on Greece to “abstain from acts that would cause an escalation in the region.”

Greece denied any harassment of the Turkish ship.

Greece and Turkey have been at odds over their respective continental shelves for decades, hampering attempts to explore for hydrocarbons in the Aegean Sea that separates the neighbors.

Former Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, who resigned last week, said on Saturday that Athens planned to extend its territorial waters in the Ionian Sea, to the west of the country. The planned measure would not affect the Aegean region.

As a signatory to the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea, Greece says it can extend its territorial waters to 12 miles from the coast from six miles at present, though it has not sought to do so in the waters stretching towards Turkey. [Reuters]

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