US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his Turkish counterpart, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, said they discussed a standoff on Sunday over disputed territory in the eastern Mediterranean, where Ankara is at loggerheads with Athens and the European Union, Reuters reported.
After their meeting in Santo Domingo, Pompeo said on Twitter they discussed “the urgent need to reduce tensions.” Separately Çavuşoğlu, in a briefing afterwards, said he explained the “rightful cause” pursued by Turkey in the region.
Çavuşoğlu and Pompeo spoke of the “urgent need to reduce tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean,” the State Department said in a statement, AFP said.
The Turkish navy said in a statement late on Saturday that the drill ship Yavuz, which has been based off Cyprus for the past few months, will explore off the southwestern coast of the island from Aug. 18 to Sept. 15.
Turkey has remained defiant in the face of the protests, saying it has a right to search for oil and gas in the eastern Mediterranean, where regional nations are racing for riches after the discovery of large energy deposits.
“We strongly advise against going to the search area,” the Turkish navy warned in its statement.