Greece wants emergency EU ministers’ meeting on Turkey tensions

Tensions escalated on Monday after Turkey’s navy issued an advisory known as a Navtex saying that the Oruc Reis vessel would operate in an area of sea south of Turkey’s Antalya and west of Cyprus between Aug. 10-23. (File/AFP)
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Updated 11 August 2020

Greece wants emergency EU ministers’ meeting on Turkey tensions

  • The two NATO allies are at odds over overlapping claims for hydrocarbon resources in the region
  • Greece’s Foreign Affairs Ministry urged Turkey to “immediately cease its illegal activities which undermine peace and security in the region”

ATHENS: Greece will request an emergency meeting of EU foreign affairs ministers over Turkey’s decision to dispatch a seismic research vessel in a disputed area in the eastern Mediterranean, the prime minister’s office said on Tuesday.
The two NATO allies, who hold fundamentally different views on where their continental shelves begin and end, are at odds over overlapping claims for hydrocarbon resources in the region.
Tensions escalated on Monday after Turkey’s navy issued an advisory known as a Navtex saying that the Oruc Reis vessel would operate in an area of sea south of Turkey’s Antalya and west of Cyprus between Aug. 10-23. Seismic surveys are part of preparatory work for potential hydrocarbon exploration.
Greece’s Foreign Affairs Ministry urged Turkey to “immediately cease its illegal activities which undermine peace and security in the region.” Turkey has dismissed the Greek objections, saying they had no legal basis, and vowed to continue operations.
The latest advisory came after Egypt and Greece signed an accord last Thursday designating an exclusive economic zone between the two nations in the east Mediterranean, increasing friction with Turkey over the area.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias on Tuesday and called for the emergency meeting of EU foreign affairs ministers.
An EU spokesman said consultations among member states would take place before a decision on the request is made. EU foreign ministers are scheduled to meet in Berlin on Aug. 27-28.
“We agree that the situation in the eastern Mediterranean is extremely worrying and needs to be solved in a dialogue, not in a series and sequence of steps that are increasing the escalation and the tensions,” said European Commission spokesman Peter Stano.
“The EU stands in full solidarity with Cyprus and Greece.”
A similar Turkish advisory was issued last month prompting another dispute that was calmed after the intervention of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, leading Turkey to agree to a pause in operations.


Police clash with anti-lockdown protesters in London

Updated 19 September 2020

Police clash with anti-lockdown protesters in London

  • Scuffles broke out Saturday as police moved in to disperse hundreds of demonstrators who gathered in London’s central Trafalgar Square
  • Britain’s Conservative government imposed a ban on all social gatherings of more than six people this week in a bid to tackle a steep rise in COVID-19 cases in the country

LONDON: Police in London have clashed with protesters at a rally organized by opponents of restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of coronavirus.
Scuffles broke out Saturday as police moved in to disperse hundreds of demonstrators who gathered in London’s central Trafalgar Square. Some protesters formed blockades to stop officers from making arrests, and traffic was brought to a halt in the busy area.
The “Resist and Act for Freedom” rally saw dozens of people holding banners and placards such as one reading “This is now Tyranny” and chanting “Freedom!” Police said there were “pockets of hostility and outbreaks of violence towards officers.”
Britain’s Conservative government imposed a ban on all social gatherings of more than six people this week in a bid to tackle a steep rise in COVID-19 cases in the country, but officials are considering even stricter restrictions.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Friday that Britain is “now seeing a second wave” of the coronavirus, after seeing the same in France, Spain and across Europe.
Britain has Europe’s worst death toll in the pandemic with 41,821 confirmed virus-related deaths, but experts say all numbers undercount the true impact of the pandemic.
In a statement, British police said protesters were “putting themselves and others at risk” and urged all those at the London rally to disperse immediately or risk arrest.