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Turkey Says Greece, Israel, EU Need Permission for EastMed Cable

Αssociated Press

Turkey s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu gives a joint statement with European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell prior to their meeting in Brussels, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2021. (Stephanie Lecocq/Pool Photo via AP)

ANKARA -- Showing no signs of backing off provocations ahead of exploratory talks with Greece, Turkey warned its neighbor - along with Israel and the European Union - to seek its consent to build an undersea electricity cable.

Turkey sent a diplomatic note to Greece and Israel claiming that the two countries must seek “its permission before assuming work on a proposed undersea power cable in eastern Mediterranean waters,” said Turkey’s state-run Anadolu News Agency.

Turkey’s latest claim is that the 1,200-kilometer (745-mile) EuroAsia Interconnector's projected plans show it passing through Turkey's continental shelf, Turkish media reported.

The 2,000-megawatt cable would hook Israel to the EU through Greece but in waters that Turkey also claims under a maritime deal with Libya no other country recognizes, also planning to drill for oil and gas off Greek islands.

Turkey said it owns the Continental Shelf where the cable would be laid and its Foreign Ministry protested an agreement between Greece, Israel and the EU to proceed with the undersea cable.

The three countries reached an agreement to expedite permits and approvals to conduct feasibility studies for the undersea cable and to coordinate with their electricity regulators how to proceed, the report added..

They had come together as well for a planned $6 billion undersea pipeline to carry gas from new offshore deposits in the southeastern Mediterranean to continental Europe, by bypassing Turkey.

Israel, Greece and Cyprus conducted a joint naval exercise, which Turkey viewed as a provocation disputing its claims in the East Mediterranean where it wants to carry out energy research and is continuing drilling in Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ.)