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EU condemns extension of Turkish ship mission in east Mediterranean

Turkey has extended the research mission of the Oruc Reis ship [Getty]

Date of publication: 4 November, 2020

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The EU has condemned Turkey’s decision to extend the mission of a gas-exploration ship in disputed Mediterranean waters as ‘deeply regrettable’

The European Union on Wednesday condemned as "deeply regrettable" an announcement by Turkey that it was extending the mission of a gas-exploration ship in waters disputed by Greece and Cyprus.

"The latest Navtex announcements and the continued conduct of seismic survey activities by Turkey, which is affecting Greek and Cypriot maritime zones, are deeply regrettable - especially in view of ongoing constructive attempts at all levels to create space for dialogue," the spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said in a statement.

"This is yet another course of action that, unfortunately, continues to create more tensions and distrust in the region instead of contributing to lasting solutions," the statement said.

It called for "dialogue in good faith and abstention from unilateral actions" to defuse a tense situation in the east Mediterranean that is undermining EU-Turkey relations.

Forays by Turkey's exploration ship in waters claimed by Greece have infuriated Athens.

EU leaders are to decide in a December summit whether to impose sanctions over Turkey's activity.

The European Commission has already drawn up a list of potential targets for economic sanctions which could deal a blow to Turkey's tourism and transport sectors, European diplomats told AFP.

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