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Wednesday, 9 October 2019

Egypt, Cyprus, Greece condemn Turkey’s oil exploration in the East Med

The unofficial theme of yesterday’s Egypt-Greece-Cyprus summit: ‘Turkey = bad’. Egypt, Greece and Cyprus condemned Turkey’s attempts to drill for oil in Cypriot waters during a trilateral summit in Cairo yesterday, according to an Ittihadiya statement. President Abdel Fattah El Sisi, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis called Turkey’s actions a “violation of international law” and its increased military presence a “threat to the security and peace of the Mediterranean region,” in a joint statement. Turkey has stepped up its efforts to explore for oil and gas south of Cyprus in recent months, which Nicosia argues is a violation of its sovereignty. The move has provoked the ire of Turkey’s regional rivals, as well as the European Union which slapped Ankara with sanctions in July. The leaders also expressed “deep concerns” over Turkey’s plans to invade north-east Syria that were announced earlier this week.

The summit wasn’t just an occasion to bash Turkey. The leadersdiscussed a host of topics including boosting cooperation in natural gas exploration and transportation, the stalled Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam negotiations, counterterrorism, and illegal immigration. There were no major announcements regarding plans to set up an East Med gas market, nor was there anything new on the EuroAfrica project that will allow Egypt to export electricity to Europe via Greece and Cyprus.

The story is getting coverage in the foreign press: Associated PressBloombergRT.

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