Foreign Affairs Minister replies to MP Georganas regarding the East Mediterranean crisis

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Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Marise Payne, has replied to Federal Member for Adelaide Steve Georganas’ second and most recent letter with regards to the latest developments in the Eastern Mediterranean.

In his letter, signed September 11 and addressed to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Minister Payne, MP Georganas was urging the Australian government to “utilise all possible avenues and diplomatic channels available to encourage a peaceful resolution of this critical situation in the Eastern Mediterranean – and highlight the importance of achieving sustained mutual respect and understanding in the region.”

Mr Georganas’, first letter to the Australian Prime Minister was penned in August 2020. 

In her reply to the Greek Australian politician, signed Thursday 5 November, Minister Payne writes:

Dear Mr Georganas 

Thank you for your letter of 11 September 2020 regarding rising tensions occurring in the Easter Mediterranean. I understand the Prime Minister has also responded to your letter to him on this issue.

As noted by the Prime Minister, the Government is actively monitoring tensions between Turkey and Greece, including over Turkey’s proposed exploration activity in the Eastern Mediterranean. We are concerned about the potential for further escalation of the situation and support a peaceful resolution, through dialogue and negotiation, in accordance with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Thank you for bringing your concerns and those of your constituents to the attention of the Government.

Yours Sincerely

Marise Payne

Greek Foreign Minister urges Germany to halt sale of submarines to Turkey:

On Monday, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias urged Germany to halt the sale of Type 214 class submarines to Turkey, saying that the move would upset the existing power balance and enable Ankara to destabilize the Eastern Mediterranean.

In an article in Die Welt newspaper, Dendias said that the German submarines – the Hellenic Navy currently has four such vessels – “give us a strategic advantage in the Southeast Mediterranean and the Aegean.”

“If Germany delivers [these vessels], Turkey will again have an advantage against Greece,” Dendias said.

Ankara has ordered six Type 214 submarines. 

In the same article, Dendias said that Germany’s “policy of appeasement” in dealing with Turkey had failed, a fact manifested by the fresh deployment of its Oruc Reis research vessel.

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