Germany warns Turkey on Mediterranean drilling

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas speaks during a news conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Athens, Greece, July 21, 2020. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

ATHENS (Reuters) - Turkey must stop drilling for natural resources in waters in the eastern Mediterranean if there is to be progress in EU-Turkey ties, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Tuesday.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said last week that Turkey would start seismic research and drilling operations in contested waters that are covered by an agreement between Ankara and Libya’s internationally recognised government.

“Regarding Turkey’s drilling in the eastern Mediterranean, we have a very clear position - international law must be respected so progress in EU-Turkey relations is only possible if Ankara stops provocations in the eastern Mediterranean,” Maas said during a visit to Athens.

Reporting by Reuters Television; Writing by Michelle Martin, editing by Thomas Escritt