16:44 GMT28 October 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Greek Foreign Minister Nikolaus-Georgios Dendias have agreed on the need to peacefully resolve any maritime disputes in the Eastern Mediterranean, State Department spokesperson Cale Brown said on Monday in a readout of a meeting between the two diplomats in Greece.

    “They also agreed on the need for peaceful resolution of any disputes in the Eastern Mediterranean in accordance with international law, and the Secretary welcomed all efforts to deescalate tensions and return to dialogue,” Brown said after Pompeo and Dendias held talks earlier in the day in Thessaloniki.

    During their meeting, Pompeo and Dendias also discussed cooperation on energy diversification and infrastructure projects, as well as defence matters, the spokesperson said.

    “Secretary Pompeo noted Thessaloniki’s important regional role as a gateway to the Balkans and welcomed Greece’s leadership in advancing the Transatlantic and European integration of the Western Balkans,” Brown said.

    Both sides also committed to "further enhance their strategic defence and security partnership" during upcoming Strategic Dialogue talks in Washington in 2021, the statement said.

    The two sides also pledged to step up cooperation on counter-terrorism information sharing and trade cooperation, the statement said.

    Tensions escalated in the region last month as Turkish seismic exploration vessels conducted surveys in waters that both Greece and Cyprus claim to be part of their exclusive economic zones.

    The Greek armed forces were put on high alert as Turkey’s Oruc Reis vessel conducted surveys near the island of Kastellorizo, which is owned by Greece but located just one mile from the Turkish coast.

    resolution, Mediterranean Sea, Greece, U.S
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