- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 13, 2020

The United States on Tuesday criticized Turkey’s decision to renew seismic survey work in a part of the hotly disputed Mediterranean where Greece claims jurisdiction.

State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said Turkey’s Oct. 11 announcement will serve only to raise tensions with Greece — a NATO partner — and complicate the resumptions of “crucial” exploratory talks.

“Coercion, threats, intimidation and military activity will not resolve tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Ms. Ortagus said in a statement. “We urge Turkey to end this calculated provocation and immediately begin exploratory talks with Greece.”

Ankara has previously withdrawn the same Turkish vessel — identified by the Reuters news agency as the Oruc Rels — from the region to allow for a diplomatic solution to the impasse with Greece.

“Unilateral actions cannot build trust and will not produce enduring solutions,” Ms. Ortagus said.

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