Greece close to resuming maritime talks with Turkey

Tensions flared last month when Turkey sent the Oruc Reis seismic survey vessel, above, to waters also claimed by Greece. Oruc Reis eventually returned to port last week. (AFP)
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Updated 21 September 2020

Greece close to resuming maritime talks with Turkey

  • Neighbors bitterly disagree over maritime jurisdiction and energy exploration rights in the eastern Mediterranean

ATHENS: Greece is close to resuming talks with Turkey over maritime zones, government spokesman Stelios Petsas said on Monday.
NATO members Turkey and Greece bitterly disagree over maritime jurisdiction and energy exploration rights in the eastern Mediterranean. Tensions flared last month when Turkey sent the Oruc Reis seismic survey vessel to waters also claimed by Greece.
The Oruc Reis returned to port last week for what Ankara called routine maintenance, a move Greece said was a positive first step toward defusing the stand-off.
“We’re close to resuming exploratory talks, but how soon this will happen depends on both sides, on Greece and Turkey. The sentiment is good,” Petsas told reporters.
Earlier discussions between Athens and Ankara on demarcating maritime zones broke down in 2016. Greek media have reported that exploratory talks could start as early as this week.


Israel warplanes strike Gaza following rocket fire

Updated 23 October 2020

Israel warplanes strike Gaza following rocket fire

  • Fighter jets and other aircraft struck a “weapons manufacturing site and underground infrastructures”
  • Hamas reported no casualties from the Israeli strikes on the Nuseirat refugee camp and the southern city of Khan Yunis

JERUSALEM: Israeli warplanes struck suspected Hamas military targets in the Gaza Strip before dawn on Friday following rocket fire from the blockaded Palestinian territory.
Fighter jets and other aircraft struck a “weapons manufacturing site and underground infrastructures” operated by Islamist group Hamas, which has controlled the territory since 2007, the Israeli army said.
Hamas reported no casualties from the Israeli strikes on the Nuseirat refugee camp and the southern city of Khan Yunis.
Two rockets had been launched at Israel late Thursday, without causing any casualties or damage.
One was intercepted by Israeli air defenses, while the other hit open ground, the army said.
The last reported rocket attack from Gaza was on Tuesday night.
It came after the army announced it had found a new tunnel that crosses “dozens of meters (yards) into Israel” from Gaza.
The next day the army said the tunnel belonged to Hamas.
Authorities have discovered some 20 tunnels originating in Gaza since 2014, army spokesman Jonathan Conricus said this week.
Israel has fought three wars with Hamas since the Islamists ousted loyalists of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas from the territory in 2007 and there have been numerous smaller flare-ups.
An informal truce brokered by Egypt and the United Nations, with the financial support of gas-rich Qatar, has been in force since late 2018.
It has been broken several times but has been restored on each occasion.