Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu discussed the interception of a Turkish commercial vessel bound for Libya by the European Union's Operation Irini as well as Eastern Mediterranean tensions and regional issues with NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg on Thursday in a phone call.
Çavuşoğlu voiced that the “treatment toward our ship is unacceptable.”
On Nov. 22, a German frigate participating in the EU-led Operation Irini unlawfully stopped and searched a commercial Turkish cargo vessel carrying food and paint supplies to Libya, in the Eastern Mediterranean. The move was strongly criticized by Turkey who underlined that interception in international waters requires the approval of the flag country.
Turkey’s top diplomat and the NATO chief also touched on the issues in Nagorno-Karabakh, Libya and Afghanistan.
Earlier Thursday, Stoltenberg had a phone call with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias. According to a statement by the Greek foreign ministry, Dendias and Stoltenberg discussed developments in the Eastern Mediterranean ahead of a NATO foreign ministers’ meeting.
Turkey and Greece have been at odds over numerous issues over the years, but the current disagreement over gas exploration rights in the Eastern Mediterranean has taken the tensions to new heights.
Greece seeks to block Turkey's exploration of energy resources in the region, which Ankara says is well within its rights. Athens has attempted to restrict Turkey's maritime territory, trying to box it into its shores based on a small number of Greek islands' proximity to the Turkish coast.