Diplo + Foreign Trade on 12 August
Ankara flexes its muscles again over EastMed with potential issuance of gas exploration licenses: Turkey will issue gas exploration and drilling licences in the east Mediterranean this month, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a presser, reports Reuters. The move, which was announced one day after Ankara dispatched a vessel to conduct a seismic survey in the oil and gas-rich region, led Greece — which has been in a long-term dispute with Ankara over the region’s gas reserves — to mobilize its military force. Turkey responded with a strongly worded statement saying that Greece’s objections to the seismic survey had “no legal basis” and that it would continue as it sees fit. Greece has turned to the United Nations for help in resolving the dispute. Egypt and Greece signed a joint economic zone agreement in the EastMed earlier this week, which pundits say stirred the pot by adding a “new dimension” to the conflict.