Pompeo calls for diplomatic solution to EastMed dispute

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The US Secretary of state has called on all parties involved in heightened tensions in the eastern Mediterranean to get to the negotiating table to resolve disputes in the region.

While making the call on Wednesday September 2, 2020, Pompeo urged everyone to stand down, to reduce tensions and begin to have diplomatic discussions about the conflicts that exist there in the eastern Mediterranean, the security conflicts, the energy resource conflicts and the maritime conflicts.

“They need to sit down and have conversations about this and resolve this diplomatically. It is not useful to increase military tension in the region. Only negative things can flow from that,” he said.

Pompeo’s words come amid markedly strained tensions between Turkey and several nations.

Apparently seeking to block Turkey’s maritime territorial claims, Greece signed exclusive economic zone deals with Italy on June 9 and with Egypt on Aug. 7.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry slammed the latter pact in a statement, asserting that Greece and Egypt share no sea borders and the deal is “null and void.”

It added that the demarcated area in the pact is located in Turkey’s continental shelf, as Ankara reported to the UN.

On Tuesday, the US decided to partially lift a decades-old arms embargo on Southern Cyprus, drawing Ankara’s ire.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry quickly responded by saying if Washington does not reconsider its decision the Turkish government would take counter measures, calling the move incompatible with the spirit of the alliance between the nations.

But while speaking to reporters, Pompeo said the move has “been a long time coming,” noting Washington’s “long-time” efforts on the matter.

“We know that this decision was announced in light of heightened tensions in the eastern Mediterranean, but we thought it was the right thing, and so I made the decision we would move forward with it,” he said

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