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Tension easing in East Mediterranean dispute with Turkey – Greece

Tension easing in East Mediterranean dispute with Turkey – Greece

Turkey has reduced the number of navy vessels in an area of the East Mediterranean where it disputes Greek jurisdiction over oil-and-gas drilling rights, Athens said on Monday.

Tensions flared last week between the two NATO allies when Ankara announced it planned to send a research vessel south of the Greek islands of Rhodes, Karpathos, and Kastellorizo.

The initiative was criticized by the US, France, and other European countries, and the Turkish research vessel, the Oruc Reis, has remained anchored off the southeast Turkish port of Antalya, AP said.

Spain’s Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez Laya said that talks in Turkey on Monday had helped to reduce tensions between some EU members and Ankara over Turkish energy exploration in the Mediterranean, Reuters reports. The minister added that a one-month pause in drilling was possible.