(Bloomberg) -- Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar asked Greece to demilitarize 16 Aegean islands near Turkey he claims were illegally armed, in a move that may exacerbate strains in the countries’ relations.
“We expect Greece to act in line with international law and the agreements it has signed,” state-run Anadolu Agency cited Akar as saying in Ankara on Wednesday.
The two neighbors are already at loggerheads over offshore natural-gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean. Tensions over conflicting claims have escalated since Turkey and Libya signed a contentious agreement last year that delineates maritime borders and affirms claims of sovereignty over areas of the Mediterranean.
Turkey’s claims could make it more difficult and costly to build a planned natural-gas pipeline that could link the eastern Mediterranean basin with European markets through Cyprus, Greece and Italy.
Greece and Turkey, both NATO members, came close to conflict in 1996 over a pair of uninhabited islets in the Aegean.
To contact the reporter on this story: Cagan Koc in Istanbul at email@example.com
To contact the editors responsible for this story: Onur Ant at firstname.lastname@example.org, Amy Teibel, Paul Abelsky
For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com
Subscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.
©2020 Bloomberg L.P.