While the US involvement in the Eastern Mediterranean does not serve the cause of peace and stability in the region, it also does not pose a threat to Turkey, Mustafa Sentop, the speaker of the Turkish parliament said.
“The decision to base a navy ship in Souda Bay is another symbolic gesture in this regard. These actions by the U.S. will not serve peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, nor do they serve the strategic interests of the U.S. …Despite everything, I do not believe the presence of US in the East Mediterranean would be a threat to Turkey’s security, since there has been a strong alliance between Turkey and US for almost 70 years”, he told Sputnik.
The politician noted, in remarks published on Friday, that the record of Washington’s activity in the region had been ambiguous, with the United States first calling for dialogue and then choosing to support the Greek Cypriot administration.
The statement comes after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced during his Saturday visit to Cyprus that he had signed a memorandum of understanding with Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides, as the US plans to build a new training center (Cyprus Center for Land, Open-seas, and Port Security, or CYCLOPS) on the island.
Cyprus and Turkey have been engaged in a prolonged dispute over offshore drilling rights since 2011, with the conflict escalating in the recent months after Ankara sent research ships to the waters claimed by Athens and Nicosia. The Eu supported its member states, warning Turkey that the further escalation may result in serious sanctions against Ankara.