The Greek Foreign Ministry on Monday sent a clear message that the country will defend its sovereignty and national rights, formally calling on Turkey to immediately end the illegal oil and gas drilling activities which undermine the peace and stability in the region.
Earlier on Monday, the Greek government convened an emergency meeting of the Foreign and Defense Council (KYSEA) chaired by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis at Maximos Mansion.
An announcement released after the conclusion of the meeting states that “the council made a review of the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and examined ways to react to the Turkish provocation.”
It called on Turkey to stop what it called its “illegal actions” in the Mediterranean south of the Greek island of Kastellorizo, just a few miles off the coast of the neighboring nation.
The statement also said that the renewed oil exploration and drilling activity, which restarted after last week’s declaration of a joint Greek-Egyptian maritime deal, was “a new, serious escalation” laying bare Turkey’s role as a “destabilizing and peace-threatening” nation.
Earlier on Monday, the Turkish Navy had issued a new navigational Telex stating that its oil and gas exploratory ship the Oruc Reis would carry out seismic surveys just south of the Greek island group of Kastellorizo during the next two weeks.
Greece immediately issued a “counter-Navtex” stating that the Turkish telex was illegal.
In its announcement, the Ministry declared “Greece will not accept any blackmail. It will defend its sovereign rights,” adding that Monday’s Navtex gave the lie to Turkey’s earlier statements that it was ready to resume talks.