UK navy calls off Aegean ex­er­cise

Bri­tain can­cels ac­tiv­i­ties an­nounced in Turk­ish nav­tex af­ter Athens re­ac­tion

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

In what ap­pears to be an ef­fort to steer clear of Greek-Turk­ish ten­sions, the Bri­tish Royal Navy has re­port­edly can­celed a sched­uled mil­i­tary ex­er­cise off the south­east­ern Aegean is­land of Karpathos, which had been an­nounced in a nav­i­ga­tional telex (nav­tex) is­sued by Ankara, to the out­rage of Athens.

It was the sec­ond time in the last two weeks that Turkey had is­sued a nav­tex an­nounc­ing that a third coun­try would hold mil­i­tary ex­er­cises within Greek or Cypriot ter­ri­to­rial waters.

In late July, Ankara had is­sued a nav­tex an­nounc­ing an Amer­i­can mil­i­tary ves­sel would be con­duct­ing ac­tiv­i­ties within Cyprus’s ex­clu­sive eco­nomic zone (EEZ).

Through its am­bas­sador in Ni­cosia,Washington of­fi­cially de­nied hav­ing asked Turkey to is­sue a nav­tex re­gard­ing the Amer­i­can war­ship.

Mean­while, Turk­ish naval ac­tiv­i­ties off Cyprus’s coast are set to con­tinue af­ter Ankara is­sued an­other nav­tex yes­ter­day, re­serv­ing an area that bor­ders the is­land’s EEZ for a mil­i­tary ex­er­cise on Au­gust 17.

At the same time, Turk­ish seis­mic ex­plo­ration ves­sel the Bar­baros re­mains in plots 5 and 6 of Cyprus’s EEZ, along with Turk­ish war­ships.

Turkey’s pres­ence in Cyprus’s EEZ is seen as a show of force as it doesn’t rec­og­nize Ni­cosia’s right to ex­plore and drill for nat­u­ral gas, say­ing this right also be­longs to the Turk­ish Cypri­ots.

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