Germany warns Turkey against "provocation" in eastern Mediterranean

BERLIN (Reuters) - Turkey should not provoke a gas dispute in the eastern Mediterranean, said Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on Tuesday, adding that Germany is in solidarity with Cyprus and Greece as EU partners.
"Ankara must end the interplay of relaxation and provocation if the government is interested in talks - as it has repeatedly confirmed," said Maas in Berlin before fleeing to Cyprus and Greece.
He appealed to Turkey to remain open to talks and urged Ankara not to resume gas exploration in the more controversial sea areas.
A Turkish ship set out on Monday to conduct seismic surveys in the eastern Mediterranean, prompting Greece to make a furious new demand for European Union sanctions against Ankara in a row over offshore exploration rights.

(Reporting by Andreas Rinke; letter by Caroline Copley, editing by Kirsti Knolle)

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