Greek navy on ‘heightened readiness’ over Turkish activities: official

Greek Coast Guard vessel "Gavdos" is moored following a night patrol, at the port of Mytilene on the island of Lesbos, Greece, September 30, 2019. (Reuters)
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Updated 22 July 2020

Greek navy on ‘heightened readiness’ over Turkish activities: official

  • Greece formally protested to Ankara after it said Turkish drilling ship would conduct explorations in Aegean

ATHENS: Greece's navy has deployed ships in the Aegean in "heightened readiness" over Turkish energy exploration activities, a navy source said Wednesday.
The move came after the Greek foreign ministry on Tuesday formally protested to Ankara following the announcement that a Turkish drilling ship would conduct explorations in the sea area south of the Greek island of Kastellorizo in the southeastern Aegean.
"Navy units have been deployed since yesterday in the south and southeastern Aegean," the source told AFP, declining to give further detail.
Athens had said Turkish surveys in a section of the Greek continental shelf constituted an escalation of the tension in the region where the two countries dispute maritime rights.
"We call on Turkey to immediately cease its illegal activities, which violate our sovereign rights and undermine peace and security in the region," the Greek foreign ministry said.


Macron slams Turkey’s ‘bellicose’ talk on Karabakh conflict

Updated 30 September 2020

Macron slams Turkey’s ‘bellicose’ talk on Karabakh conflict

  • Macron condemned Turkey’s statements backing Azerbaijan in its bid to take back the breakaway region of Nagorny Karabakh
  • Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked for decades in a territorial dispute over Karabakh

RIGA: French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday condemned what he called Turkey’s “reckless and dangerous” statements backing Azerbaijan it its bid to take back the breakaway region of Nagorny Karabakh.
Ankara said on Tuesday it was “fully ready” to help Azerbaijan recover Nagorny Karabakh, as armed conflict escalated with neighboring Armenia over the region.
“I have noted Turkey’s political statements which I think are reckless and dangerous,” Macron told reporters in Latvia’s capital Riga during a visit to the Baltic EU state.
“France remains extremely concerned about the bellicose comments that Turkey made in the last hours, which essentially remove any inhibitions from Azerbaijan in what would be a reconquest of northern Karabakh. That we will not accept,” he added.
He also appeared to voice support for Yerevan: “I say to Armenia and to the Armenians, France will play its role.”
But Macron also said it was too soon to speak of a regional conflict.
He said he would discuss the tensions with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday evening and US President Donald Trump on Thursday before reporting on the situation to the European Council of EU leaders.
Armenia and Azerbaijan have been locked for decades in a territorial dispute over Karabakh and have blamed each other for sparking fierce clashes that erupted on Sunday and have since caused nearly 100 confirmed deaths.
The two sides have so far defied calls for a cease-fire.
Ankara has backed Azerbaijan in the conflict and on Tuesday the Armenian defense ministry said a Turkish F-16 flying in support of Baku’s forces had downed an Armenian SU-25 warplane. Ankara fiercely denied the claim.
Direct Turkish military action against Armenia would mark a major escalation after three days of heavy fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces over Karabakh.
And the UN Security Council called on both sides for an immediate end to the fighting.
Viewing Azerbaijan as its close ally and Armenia as its historic foe, Russia also called on Turkey to stop proclaiming support for Azerbaijan and to work toward a diplomatic solution to the escalation, the deadliest since 2016.
The European Union warned Monday regional powers not to interfere in fighting in Nagorny Karabakh, and condemned a “serious escalation” that threatens regional stability.