Turkey fuels regional tension

Turkey fuels regional tension

Turkey continues to follow an aggressive strategy towards other nations in the Eastern Mediterranean.

On the heels of a Turkish Foreign Ministry report presenting Turkey's maritime claims in the Mediterranean with detailed maps, an article at state Anadolu news agency says Turkey must expands its “geopolitical line of defense,” adding that “the power that dominates in the Mediterranean dominates in three continents (Africa, Asia, Europe)”.

On Tuesday, Ibrahim Kalin, spokesman for Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that “whichever plan excludes Turkey is impossible,” adding that Turkey will c0ontinue to back the UN-recognized Libyan government with which Turkey signed a memorandum delineating common maritime borders.

“The agreement with Libya does not contain anything that should upset third parties,” Kalin said.

“When, Israel, Egypt, Greece and the Greek-Cypriot administration met and negotiated on a project in the eastern Mediterranean, excluding Turkey, no one disputed that,” Kalin added. He was referring to the East Med natural gas pipeline the four countries agreed to build.

Turkey, alone among world countries, does not recognize the government of the Republic of Cyprus, referring to it as the “Greek-Cypriot administration.”

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis discussed the situation in Libya and the Eastern Mediterranean in a call with Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi Tuesday.

On January 2, Greece, Cyprus and Israel will sign, in Athens, the agreement to build the East Med pipeline. On Jan. 4-5, the Foreign Ministers of Cyprus, Egypt and Greece will hold a meeting, with the added participation of France.

Mitsotakis is counting on the support of French President Emmanuel Macron in the disputes with Turkey. The two are scheduled to meet in Paris on Jan. 29.

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