Any clashes between Turkey and Greece would not serve the interests of the United States, the U.S. ambassador to Athens said Wednesday.
Geoffrey Pyatt spoke during an online panel “Changing Conditions: The Great Power Race in the Eastern Mediterranean” organized by the European Center for Policy Analysis. He commented on Turkish-Greek relations, the Eastern Mediterranean and regional developments.
Stating that Greece is an important ally for the U.S. in the Eastern Mediterranean, Pyatt drew attention to the close relations this country has established with Israel, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Jordan, Egypt and Libya in recent years.
Noting that they support the 3+1 formula alliance formed in the region with Greece, Israel, the Greek Cypriot Administration and the U.S., Pyatt argued that Athens has repeatedly stated that it is open to Turkey's participation in the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum.
Noting that the Southern Gas Corridor, connected to the relationship between the Trans Adriatic Natural Gas Pipeline (TAP) and Turkey, is one of the best examples of regional cooperation in the field of energy in Europe, Pyatt said: "This is a space that offers the opportunity to create new channels for collaboration and win-win. I do not accept the view that a conflict between Greece and Turkey is inevitable, and it is certainly not in the interest of the United States."
Pyatt said that during the tension between Greece and Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean last year, the United States worked with Germany and France to reduce tensions, and that NATO allies could cooperate on issues such as economic development, combating the epidemic, climate crisis and forest fires.
Turkey, which has the longest continental coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean, has rejected the maritime boundary claims of Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration, stressing that these excessive claims violate the sovereign rights of both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots.
Turkish leaders have repeatedly stressed that Ankara is in favor of resolving all outstanding problems in the region through international law, good neighborly relations, dialogue and negotiation. Turkey has also criticized the European Union’s stance on the Eastern Mediterranean conflict, calling on the bloc to adopt a fair attitude regarding the dispute and abandon its preferential treatment of Greece under the pretext of EU solidarity.
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