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US urges Turkey to back diplomacy amid mounting tensions with Greece in Mediterranean

US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, visited Cyprus on Saturday, calling for Turkey to desist from any activities that could further raise tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Disputes between Ankara, Greece and Cyprus are centred around hydrocarbon resources and maritime influence in the region that have led to fears of conflict.

Turkey, which is hunting for gas and oil reserves in waters claimed by fellow NATO member Greece, last month deployed an exploration vessel backed by military frigates.

“We remain deeply concerned by Turkey’s ongoing operations surveying for natural resources in areas over which Greece and Cyprus assert jurisdiction over the Eastern Mediterranean,” Pompeo told reporters in Nicosia after a meeting with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides.

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