A message to Turkey to stop escalating through “provocative actions” was sent by US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt at the same time that Turkey through Energy Minister Fatih Donmez not only confirmed that drill ship “Fatih” has been drilling into the Cypriot EEZ but announced that Ankara is already sending a second such ship there.
Speaking from Stefanovikio, Magnesia, where he arrived for the acceptance ceremony for 70 “Kiowa” and 10 “Chinook” helicopters, Mr Pyatt also stressed that “now is the time for dialogue”.
Geoffrey Pyatt’s full statement:
Geoffrey Pyatt Καλημέρα. Let me say, first of all, how happy I am to be back in Greece. I have been away for a week. I missed the summer. I’m also very happy to be here at Stefanovikio to see our friend General Floros in his new command, and in particular to be here today with our Hellenic Armed Forces partners and the minister and with Deputy Assistant Secretary Cataldo for the transfer of the Kiowa helicopters. This program is an important symbol of America’s commitment to our alliance with Greece and to deepening that defense relationship. I found in my discussions last week in Washington with the State Department, with the White House, with Congress, that appreciation for the importance of this relationship, this alliance, is greater than ever, and there is also a very strong commitment to continuing to invest in that relationship, to develop capacity, to develop interoperability. I also want to note, since we are here at Stefanovikio, how grateful the United States was, and US Army Europe in particular, for the hospitality that was provided to our Combat Aviation Brigade that spent the winter months here in Stefanovikio training, exercising with their Hellenic Army counterparts, and to note the commitment from General Cavoli, the Commander of Army Forces in Europe, to deepen and extend that relationship in the months ahead. So we will be back. We are very grateful and very proud of the alliance that we’re building and our shared interests.
Question: Sir, European Union members are discussing in order to take some measures against Turkey’s violent behavior in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Will you comment on it?
Geoffrey Pyatt: So I will say two things: first of all, the United States and the European Union share a perspective on developments in the waters off of Cyprus, and in particular, our shared interest in avoiding any further provocative actions by Turkey. I spoke clearly to these issues last week in my public comments in Washington D.C., and the State Department spokesperson over the weekend reaffirmed the strong American view that now is a time for dialogue and not for further escalatory, provocative actions.