US official: Turkey-Libya maritime deal, EastMed drilling are ‘counterproductive’

US official: Turkey-Libya maritime deal, EastMed drilling are ‘counterproductive’

Turkey's drilling activities, combined with the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Tripoli government are “counterproductive” and do not contribute to the stability and security of the Eastern Mediterranean, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Matthew Palmer reiterated on Wednesday at a teleconference with Greek journalists.

Palmer noted Washington’s deep concern over Turkey’s actions in the region, stressing that US diplomacy has made its position clear in Ankara.

“We were clear about our expectations in our private and public messages, about how we would expect everyone in the Eastern Mediterranean to behave and support international law and act in a way that favors security. We are quite clear in our discussions with our Turkish partners about our concerns,” he said.

The US official reaffirmed that Washington fully supports the right of Cyprus to conduct hydrocarbon exploration within its exclusive economic zone (EEZ), adding that the US recognizes that islands such as Crete have the same EEZ rights as the mainland coast.

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