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Politics

Menendez Rips State Dept. Backing Turkey’s Claim Disputing Greek Waters

July 24, 2020

A U.S. State Department statement urging Turkey not to proceed with energy research off Greek islands was wrong to include the wording that the feud is over “disputed waters,” Sen. Bob Menendez, (D-New Jersey) said.

Menendez, an ally of Greece and the Democratic head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said, “Let’s be crystal clear—the only country “disputing” these waters is Turkey. These waters belong to Greece, and the State Department must unequivocally and publicly recognize that Turkey alone is responsible for the tension over them,.”

There was no initial response from the State Department as President Donald Trump considers Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan a friend and called him “a hell of a leader,” praising his authoritarian style in jailing journalists and dissidents.

A State Department spokesman had said that, “We urge Turkish authorities to halt any plans for operations and to avoid steps that raise tensions in the region,” the spokesperson said and described the area around the Greek island of Kastellorizo where Turkey plans to hold a seismic survey as “disputed waters.”

In a report, the Sydney-based Greek City Times said that, “The U.S. has traditionally preference (sic) Turkey  despite its hostilities and provocative actions, due to the geostrategic location. Under President Donald Trump, this has not changed at all, with his former National Security Adviser, John Bolton, describing Trump’s relations with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a “bromance.”

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