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PM Tsipras calls on extra Gov’t Council meeting to explore tension in East Mediterranean

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras interrupted his pre-elections campaign on Sunday and called for an extraordinary meeting of the Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defense (KYSEA).

According to reports, the meeting will focus on developments in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and Turkey’s drilling activities in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus.

The meeting starts at 5:30 pm local time, under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister and the presence of political and military leadership of the country.

The extraordinary meeting takes place amid raising tension in the area of the East Mediterranean, continuous violations of the Greek air space by Turkish fighter jets, and claims by Greek websites that the Greek army had deployed troops to the islands in the Aegean Sea.

The tension occurs just three weeks before the general elections on July 7.

Defense Ministry denies Troops Deployment

Recent posting on Greek websites that Troops have been deployed to the islands of the Eastern Aegean Sea do not correspond to reality,” the Greek Defense Ministry said in a statement issued on Sunday.

“The operational order of the Greek Armed Forces is the usual one,” the Ministry stressed adding that “any deployments took place as part of the exercise “STORM 2019″ which was completed on Friday 14 June 2019.”

Cyprus cannot confirm Turkey’s Drilling

The [illegal] drilling West of Pafos in the Cyprus EEZ has already started, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu claimed on Friday.

However on Sunday, Nicosia could not confirm the Turkish claim. Government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said that they had information on “the transportation of material and equipment related to the drilling activity,” but they were unable to confirm whether the drilling had started.

Cyprus daily Phileleftheros published a story on Sunday, according to which Cyprus had strong indications that Turkey had begun drilling with vessel Fathih and that these indications concerned the transport of cement and sludge, materials used for drilling purposes.

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