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World Spain hopes Turkey overture on drilling leads to talks

16:01  28 july  2020
16:01  28 july  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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"I hope this message will materialise," Gonzalez Laya said. Turkey is at loggerheads with Greece and Cyprus over overlapping claims for offshore reserves and the two EU members, along with France, have rejected Turkey 's plan to explore between Cyprus and Crete. Spain hopes Turkey overture

Spain 's foreign minister said that talks in Turkey on Monday had helped to reduce tensions between some European Union members and Ankara over Turkish energy exploration in the Mediterranean, adding that a one-month pause in drilling was possible. Foreign minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya, at

ATHENS (Reuters) - Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya said on Tuesday she hopes the will shown by Turkey to open a dialogue on oil drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean will be followed by action.

Arancha Gonzalez looking at the camera: Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya reacts during an interview with Reuters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Madrid © Reuters/SUSANA VERA Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya reacts during an interview with Reuters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Madrid

Turkey is at loggerheads with Greece and Cyprus over overlapping claims for offshore reserves. EU members Greece and Cyprus, along with France, have rejected Turkey's plan to explore between Cyprus and Crete.

Gas increases pressure in the Mediterranean

 Gas increases pressure in the Mediterranean © WEST-FRANCE infographic Turkey has started drilling in Greek waters, protected by eighteen warships. Turkey has started drilling in Greek waters, protected by eighteen warships. At stake: the sharing of the immense gas reserves. Tuesday, Turkey dispatched eighteen warships to the territorial waters of Greece . In this case, close to the easternmost of its islands, Kastellorizo, located 130 km from the island of Rhodes, but less than seven km from the town of Kas, on the south coast of Turkey.

Spain 's foreign minister said that talks in Turkey on Monday had helped to reduce tensions between some European Union members and Ankara over Turkish energy exploration in the Mediterranean, adding that a one-month pause in drilling was possible. Foreign minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya, at

Spain ’s foreign minister said that talks in Turkey on Monday had helped to reduce tensions between some European Union members and Ankara over Turkish energy exploration in the Mediterranean, adding that a one-month pause in drilling was possible.

The EU is keen to keep a lid on any tensions between a member state and Turkey. Last week German Chancellor Angela Merkel held separate discussions with both Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.

"This has to be put into action. It's not enough to say you want to talk," Gonzalez Laya told a new conference in Athens following a visit to Turkey, where she said her counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, mentioned a will to pause exploration in the area for at least a month.

Following her visit, a top Turkish official said Erdogan had requested any operations be put on hold as a constructive approach to negotiations with Greece.

"I hope this message will materialise," Gonzalez Laya said.

Her Greek counterpart, Nikos Dendias, said Greece was open to dialogue but not under not under threats.

It was not immediately clear what the basis of a dialogue between the two sides would be since they hold fundamentally different views on where their continental shelves begin and end.

(Reporting by Renee Maltezou and Inti Landauro; Editing by Alex Richardson and Nick Macfie)

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