Following an ambiguous message from the U.S. Department of State that called waters where Turkey intended to drill “disputed,” numerous American officials have come forth with stronger statements supporting Greek sovereignty.
Geoffrey Pyatt, Washington’s Ambassador in Athens sent various messages via Twitter and spoke about the issue at hand during an event in Alexandroupolis in Northern Greece, seeking to send a message to Turkey to de-escalate tensions and stop Ankara from its plans to send a drilling ship into Greek waters.
“I want to echo the clear message from Washington and elsewhere in Europe urging Turkish authorities to halt operations that raise tensions in the region, such as plans to survey for natural resources in areas where Greece and Cyprus assert jurisdiction in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Pyatt said.
He added, in reference to Turkey’s intent to drill, he called it a “unilateral, provocative action.”
Speaking specifically about the issue of Greek sovereignty in the region around the island of Kastelorizo where Turkey planned to send a surveying ship to drill, Pyatt said “I have also made a point on many occasions and I will make it again today, that the United States adheres to the principal of international maritime law that islands, including Kastellorizo, have exactly the same continental shelf and EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone) rights as does any mainland territory.”
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