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Pompeo says concerned about risks of escalation of tensions between Cyprus, Turkey

Pompeo says concerned about risks of escalation of tensions between Cyprus, Turkey

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 06 Oct 2019, 11:43 am

Moscow, Oct 6 (Sputnik) US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sunday he was concerned about the risk of escalating tensions between Cyprus and Turkey due to a possible miscalculation from either side.

"I’m always worried when there’s a risk that there’ll be a mistake or a miscalculation by any party, whether that’s a miscalculation by Cyprus or Turkey or Greece or any country, " Pompeo said in an interview with Hellenic Radio and Television, as quoted in the US State Department's transcript of the interview.

"One doesn’t want to allow that kind of a mistake, that kind of a misunderstanding, to lead to an escalation. That’s why with respect to the Turkish drilling in those places, we have said, look, we can’t resort to the military to resolve this. We need to find a diplomatic solution to this, a – an economic outcome that delivers the right way," he said.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said at a meeting with Pompeo, who arrived in Greece on Friday, that he was waiting for Washington’s reaction to Turkey's illegal actions in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus.

According to him, the recent actions were grossly violating the sovereignty of Cyprus.

After the meeting, Mitsotakis wrote on Twitter that he had very constructive negotiations with Pompeo.

Cyprus has been split between the Greek and Turkish communities since 1974, when Turkey occupied the island's north. In 1983, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus declared its independence, without being recognized by any country except for Turkey.

UN-backed attempts to unite Cyprus have been unsuccessful so far, with the dialogue stalled since the last round of talks in Switzerland's Crans-Montana in 2017.

Tensions escalated in 2011 when the first gas deposits were discovered off the coast of Cyprus — Ankara rejects Nicosia's claims on the country's exclusive economic zone. In recent months, Turkey has sent ships to explore gas fields off the northeast coast of Cyprus, which it sees as its continental shelf.

The  move prompted harsh condemnation from Cyprus.

The Turkish drilling has been criticized by the United States and the European Union, which cut financial assistance to Ankara by $164 million in July.

Washington has accused Ankara, its NATO ally, of instigating provocations, while Russia has urged both Turkey and Cyprus to show restraint.

Pompeo says concerned about risks of escalation of tensions between Cyprus, Turkey

India Blooms News Service
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