#Turkish PM #Davutoğlu to visit #Greece amid oil, gas tensions in Cyprus

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Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu will visit Greece for two days beginning Dec. 3 amid tensions over energy deposits in the eastern Mediterranean.

The two-day talks between Turkey and Greece are part of confidence-building measures launched in 2010 to improve relations between the Aegean neighbours.

So far, the talks have resulted in the signing of around 50 accords on immigration, disaster response, tourism, health, transport, agriculture, immigration, culture and sport.

A Greek foreign ministry source said Dec. 3that several of these accords will be “re-evaluated” during Davutoğlu’s visit.

The visit has been clouded by Turkey’s intervention in the energy exploration race in the eastern Mediterranean.

Ankara is determined to search for oil and gas in the same area where the internationally recognised Greek Cyprus government has licensed exploratory drilling in its exclusive economic zone.

Last month, Nicosia said a Turkish survey vessel had encroached on Greek Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone off its south coast.

The Greek foreign ministry source told AFP that Turkey’s actions were a “brutal violation” of sovereign rights.

Ankara opposes the Greek Cypriot government’s exploitation of offshore energy reserves before agreement is reached on solving the decades-long division of the east Mediterranean island.

Davutoğlu will be accompanied by at least seven ministers and a large business delegation.

The last round of Greek-Turkish talks had been held in Istanbul in March last year.

December/04/2014
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