Photo Credit: GreekMilitary.Net

Greece warned on Thursday that it would do “everything necessary” to defend its sovereign rights, in response to Turkey’s plans to explore for oil and gas in the southern Greek islands of  the eastern Mediterranean.

According to the Associated Press, the Greek government spokesman, Stelios Petas, described the excavation as a direct violation of Greek sovereignty and its ally, Cyprus.

Petas said: “The government assures all parties that Greece will not accept the violation of its sovereignty and will do whatever is necessary to defend its sovereign rights.”

The conflict over minerals rights on the sea floor has further increased the naval presence of both NATO members in the region, where a Turkish research vessel has been dispatched for the purpose of geological survey.

Turkey has been increasingly criticized by Western allies, with French President Emmanuel Macron joining calls for European Union sanctions against Ankara if the dispute escalates.

French President Emmanuel Macron said that sanctions appear necessary now, and that it is unacceptable to violate or threaten the maritime space of a member state of the union, calling for the punishment of Turkish officials.

Source: Almasdarnews, July 24, 2020