German Chancellor Angela Merkel has stated that all European Union countries have an obligation to support Greece in its row with Turkey over Cyprus’ offshore energy resources. The chancellor added that she had already discussed the dispute between Athens and Ankara "intensely" with French President Emmanuel Macron.
Merkel also confirmed that Germany is "committed to" preventing an escalation of the dispute between the two countries over the eastern Mediterranean and has called for jointly resolving the conflict over Cyprus' exclusive economic zones.
Conflict Over Energy Resources in Mediterranean
Tensions between Greece and Turkey escalated again early in August after Ankara announced the renewal of its efforts to find gas and oil in offshore areas of Cyprus, which Turkey considers part of the Republic of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone, to which it has been given access.
Turkey sent a seismic research vessel to the eastern Mediterranean, escorted by a warship, for that purpose. These efforts have long been opposed by the Greek government, which doesn't recognise Ankara's claims to Cyprus' offshore resources, prompting the country to mobilise military forces in response to the Turkish actions.
The latest escalation was preceded by the two countries striking separate deals with other states to draw up EEZ borders, which conflicted with each other. Athens signed such an agreement with the Egyptian government and Turkey struck one with the Government of National Accord, which controls the north-eastern part of war-torn Libya.