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Armenia, Turkey Exchange More Diplomatic Salvos Over Regional Affairs


Turkish seismic research vessel Oruc Reis is escorted by Turkish Navy ships as it sets sail in the Mediterranean Sea, off Antalya, Turkey, August 10, 2020.

The diplomatic agencies of Armenia and Turkey have renewed their acrimonious exchange over the weekend after official Yerevan voiced support for Greece and Cyprus in their dispute with Ankara over the latter’s Mediterranean gas and oil search effort.

“We closely follow the latest developments and naval mobilization in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean caused by the Turkish illegal and provocative actions. This destabilizing posturing in the Eastern Mediterranean manifests continued aggressive and expansionist policy that Turkey has been pursuing in its neighboring regions,” Armenia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement released on August 15.

“We reiterate Armenia’s unequivocal support and solidarity with Greece and Cyprus and call on Turkey to de-escalate the situation, respect the International Law and cease all actions within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Greece and Cyprus,” it added.

The following day a Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman issued a statement, claiming “an insidious alliance that is being attempted to be forged against Turkey.”

Hami Aksoy said that Armenia is “in a fallacious perception of the global geography and its place in it.”

“The issue at hand is the Eastern Mediterranean, not Lake Sevan,” he said in an acid comment.

“Following its provocative statement on the Treaty of Sevres, Armenia’s expressing an opinion regarding the Eastern Mediterranean this time is a novel instance of impertinence and irresponsibility.

“Coming after the examples of the United Arab Emirates and France, the fact that Armenia, a country with no coastline to any sea, presumes itself worthy of speaking about the Eastern Mediterranean, unravels the dimensions of an insidious alliance that is being attempted to be forged against Turkey,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry representative said.

Aksoy stressed that “no matter what, Turkey will resolutely continue to protect both its and Turkish Cypriots’ rights in the Eastern Mediterranean stemming from international law.”

“No alliance of malice will manage to prevent this. Those who think otherwise have not learned their lessons from history. On this occasion, Turkey would also like to remind that, with all its means and capabilities, it stands by brotherly Azerbaijan,” he concluded.

Earlier last week Armenia and Turkey exchanged acrimonious remarks on the centennial of the Treaty of Sèvres, a post-World War I document viewed differently from Yerevan and Ankara.

The 1920 treaty signed between the Allies of World War I, a coalition led by France, Britain, the United States and others on the one side, and the Central Powers, including the Ottoman Empire, on the other was never ratified by Turkey. If implemented, it would, in particular, have given Armenia a much larger territory than it had, including access to the Black Sea.

Armenia and Turkey currently have no diplomatic relations. Internationally backed efforts in 2008-2009 for rapprochement between the two neighboring states divided over historical events, including the 1915 Armenian Genocide, eventually led to no normalization, and the Turkish-Armenian border remains closed to date.

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