The United States remains “deeply concerned” about Turkey’s actions in the eastern Mediterranean, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Saturday, calling for a diplomatic solution to a simmering crisis over offshore natural resources.

Iran PressAmerica: Tensions in the eastern Mediterranean have risen over claims and counter claims pitting Turkey against Greece and Cyprus to maritime areas thought to be rich in natural gas, according to Reuters.

“Countries in the region need to resolve disagreements including on security and energy resource and maritime issues diplomatically and peacefully,” Pompeo said in a fleeting trip to Cyprus on Saturday night, where he met with President Nicos Anastasiades.

“Increased military tensions help no one but adversaries who would like to see division in transatlantic unity,” he said.

Turkey has sent two survey vessels to separate areas in the region, drawing strong protests from both Cyprus and Greece, which say Ankara is operating on their respective continental shelves.

Turkey says it has a legitimate claim over the area. There is no agreement between Greece and Turkey delimiting their continental shelves, while Turkey disputes any claims by Cyprus, with which it has no diplomatic relations.

“We remain deeply concerned by Turkey’s ongoing operations ... the Republic of Cyprus has the right to exploit its natural resources including the right to hydrocarbons found ... in its exclusive economic zone,” Pompeo said.


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