Greece has called on several fellow European Union (EU) members to impose an arms embargo on Turkey, amid a growing dispute between the two neighbors over energy resources in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
In letters to his German, Spanish, and Italian counterparts on Oct. 20 Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias pointed to “recent provocative actions” by Turkey and called for an end to weapons sales to Ankara.
In his letter to German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, Dendias called on Berlin to block the exports of submarines, frigates, and aircraft to Turkey.
The top Greek diplomat also wrote a separate letter to the European Commission and urged the bloc to suspend its customs agreement with Turkey.
In mid-October, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at the EU’s stance in the dispute over energy exploration and territorial rights in the eastern Mediterranean, saying the bloc had become “captive” to Greece.
Turkey has been involved in a dispute with Greece and Cyprus over oil and gas exploration rights in the eastern Mediterranean Sea for months.
Tensions escalated in August as Turkey dispatched a seismic research vessel and warships escorting it to prospect for energy resources in an area in the sea that is disputed with Greece, infuriating Athens.
The ship was withdrawn temporarily, but was sent back recently, reigniting the tensions.
The EU has previously threatened to impose sanctions on Turkey over its “unilateral actions and provocations” in the Mediterranean. Greece and Cyprus also pushed for a tougher response to Turkey’s activities at an EU summit on Oct. 16.
The redeployment of the Turkish vessel has dashed hopes raised over an agreement recently struck between Turkey and Greece to begin exploratory talks, following diplomatic efforts led by Germany to ease tensions. (PressTV.com)