FILE PHOTO: Turkish drilling vessel Yavuz sets sail in Izmit Bay, on its way to the Mediterranean Sea, off the port of Dilovasi, Turkey, June 20, 2019. REUTERS/Murad Sezer/File Photo
CAIRO – 31 January 2020: Greek frigate HS Nikiforos Fokas headed towards a Turkish research vessel in the Mediterranean, Greek media reported, after the vessel reportedly entered Greece’s continental shelf area.
Greek officials have expressed their readiness to counter the Turkish ship sailing east of Crete and western Cyprus.
This comes a month after the head of the Libyan Government of National Accord Fayez al Sarraj and Turkish President Recept Tayeb Erdogan inked a controversial MoU on drawing maritime borders in the Mediterranean Sea- one of the largest natural gas resources in the region- and on enhancing military cooperation.
The deals signed between Sarraj and Erdogan provoked anger in Egypt, Cyprus and Greece that voiced their rejection of the deal as they say it contradicts with the international agreements.
In a joint press conference held in Cairo for the foreign ministers of Egypt, Greece, France and Cyprus, the ministers affirmed the necessity to fully respect the sovereignty of all countries, including their sovereign rights in their water regions in the Mediterranean Sea.
In this regard, they strongly condemned the continuous Turkish acts (drillings) in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone and regional waters and called on Turkey to immediately halt illegal exploration activities.