Turkey slams Greek objections, wants dialogue ‘without preconditions’

Turkey slams Greek objections, wants dialogue ‘without preconditions’

Ankara has reacted to Greek objections over Turkey’s latest Navtex that extended the presence of research vessel Oruc Reis in the Mediterranean, including areas within Greece’s continental shelf, until November 14.

In a statement Sunday, Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy denounced Greece’s “baseless claims,” adding that exploration was being carried out within Turkey’s own continental shelf.

“It is a futile effort by Greece to voice its objections to our activities by asserting its maximalist claims after each and every Navtex announcement. Turkey will continue its activities in the region within the framework of its rights stemming from international law,” Aksoy said.

Aksoy said Turkey was ready to cooperate with Greece and to settle differences between the two countries “through dialogue.”

“Needless to say, we will continue to protect the legitimate rights and interests of Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus with determination,” he said.

Aksoy also urged Athens to refrain from actions that escalate tension in the region and instead help “create a suitable atmosphere for negotiations.”

“We hereby invite Greece, once again, to dialogue with Turkey in order to address both the issue of maritime jurisdiction areas in the Eastern Mediterranean and other interrelated issues between the two countries, without preconditions,” he said.

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