Aug 12, 2020 15:49 UTC
  •  Turkey interested in dialogue with Greece on gas exploration in eastern Mediterranean: Minister

Turkey’s Defense Minister says his country is interested in resolving a dispute with Greece over energy exploration in the eastern Mediterranean through dialogue.

NATO allies Greece and Turkey are at odds over a range of issues, including sea boundaries. Tensions have spiked between the two since Ankara resumed energy exploration work in a disputed area of the eastern Mediterranean on Monday.

“Despite all this, we want to believe that common sense will prevail. Both on the field and at the table, we side with international law, good neighborliness and dialogue,” Hulusi Akar said on Wednesday.

“We want to reach political solutions through peaceful means in line with international laws.”

However, Akar stressed that Ankara would continue to defend its "rights, ties and interests" in the region.

"It should be known that our seas are our blue homeland. Every drop is valuable," the minister said.

Turkey’s announcement of the resumption of exploratory drilling came amid its anger over an agreement signed between Greece and Egypt designating an exclusive economic zone for oil and gas drilling rights in the eastern Mediterranean between the two countries. Turkey views the agreement as an attempt to keep it out of the region.