Canada is able to be “an honest broker” in an escalating dispute between Turkey and Greece over offshore exploration rights within the Eastern Mediterranean, says Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne.
Champagne is in Greece for the primary leg of his week-long tour of European capitals to debate with allies the tensions within the Eastern Mediterranean, the battle between Azerbaijan and Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh and the scenario in Belarus.
“We have been dealing with the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean since day one,” Champagne stated in an interview with Greek each day newspaper Kathimerini printed at this time.
“I am in contact with the secretary general of NATO to explore what possibilities there are for Canada to play a role as an honest broker.”
Canada’s high diplomat met with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his counterpart Nikos Dendias at this time — the primary such go to by a Canadian overseas affairs minister in about 30 years.
Great to see my good buddy <a href=”https://twitter.com/NikosDendias?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@NikosDendias</a>, FM of <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Greece?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Greece</a>. We had a really fruitful change on our intention to offer our bilateral relations new momentum. <br><br>We additionally mentioned the conditions within the Eastern Mediterranean, <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Belarus?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Belarus</a>, Nargono-Karabakh, <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Libya?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Libya</a> and <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Syria?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Syria</a>. <a href=”https://t.co/GUTuoU0UMa”>pic.twitter.com/GUTuoU0UMa</a>
An announcement by the Greek prime minister’s workplace stated the 2 sides mentioned the “possibilities of political, economic and defence cooperation between Greece and Canada.”
The workplace stated Mitsotakis additionally raised the difficulty of Turkish actions within the Eastern Mediterranean which Athens says violate Greek and Cypriot sovereignty.
“We had a very fruitful exchange on our intention to give our bilateral relations new momentum,” Champagne tweeted following the assembly with Dendias.
In <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Athens?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Athens</a> at this time, <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/Greece?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#Greece</a>. 🇨🇦🇬🇷 <a href=”https://t.co/hxGOLEXH9t”>pic.twitter.com/hxGOLEXH9t</a>
The conferences in Athens occurred as Turkey faces rising worldwide criticism for sending a analysis vessel, Oruc Reis, to hold seismic testing in a disputed space off the coasts of Turkey, Cyprus and Greece.
The U.S. State Department stated at this time it “deplores” Turkey’s Oct. 11 announcement of renewed Turkish survey exercise in areas over which Greece asserts jurisdiction within the Eastern Mediterranean.
State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus stated Turkey’s announcement unilaterally raises tensions within the area and intentionally complicates the resumption of essential exploratory talks between Greece and Turkey.
“Coercion, threats, intimidation, and military activity will not resolve tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Ortagus stated. “We urge Turkey to end this calculated provocation and immediately begin exploratory talks with Greece.”
A ‘direct menace to peace’ within the Med
On Monday, Greece’s overseas ministry described the brand new voyage by the Oruc Reis as a “major escalation” and a “direct threat to peace in the region.” Turkey accused Athens of fuelling tensions.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry stated Greece had no proper to oppose its operations, which had been going down 15 km from Turkey and 425 km from the Greek mainland.
The objection to Turkish exploration actions within the space is predicated on the “maximalist maritime jurisdiction claims of Greece,” Turkey’s Foreign Ministry stated.
Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar promised to “provide the necessary escort and protection” to Turkish vessels as wanted.
Turkey’s coverage within the Eastern Mediterranean shouldn’t be the one space of concern for its NATO allies.
Speaking to Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Friday, Champagne additionally urged Turkey to “stay away” from the battle in Nagorno-Karabakh between Azerbaijan and Armenian forces within the breakaway area.
The newest outburst of preventing between Azerbaijani and Armenian forces started Sept. 27 and marked the most important escalation of the decades-old battle over Nagorno-Karabakh. The area lies in Azerbaijan however has been below the management of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a Russian-backed ceasefire in 1994.
Armenian authorities have accused Turkey of sending arms — together with F-16 fighter jets and fight drones, navy advisers and Syrian jihadist mercenaries — to Azerbaijan to struggle in opposition to Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh. Turkey denies these claims.
Russia brokered a ceasefire on Oct. 9 to permit Armenian and Azerbaijani forces to gather their useless, change prisoners and start substantive negotiations on resolving the decades-long battle.
The ceasefire by no means took maintain, nonetheless; each events have accused one another of violating it by shelling civilian areas, amongst different issues. On Oct. 11, Armenia once more accused Turkey of utilizing half a dozen F-16 fighter jets to supply air cowl for Turkish- and Israeli-made drones deployed by Azerbaijan in opposition to Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Two weeks in the past, Champagne suspended the export of subtle Canadian drone expertise to Turkey in response to allegations that it’s being utilized by the Azerbaijani navy in opposition to Armenian forces in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Champagne’s subsequent cease of his European tour is Vienna, the place he has a collection of conferences deliberate on the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), headquartered within the Austrian capital. The OSCE performs an necessary function within the seek for a negotiated resolution to the decades-long Nagorno-Karabakh battle by means of its Minsk Group mechanism.
Then, Champagne will fly to Brussels for a collection of conferences with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg. While there, Champagne will meet with the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.
Champagne can also be planning to fulfill Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Sophie Wilmes earlier than transferring on to the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius, the place he’ll maintain a “mini-summit” along with his counterparts from Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.