The US is constructing a long-term strategy to bolster their presence in the Eastern Mediterranean and are working to systematically strengthen security and energy cooperation with Cyprus, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell has said.
He was addressing the US Congress Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday.
Among others, he said that in parallel with counterterrorism efforts in the context of NATO and efforts to project stability in North Africa and the Middle East, “we are constructing a long-term strategy to bolster the US presence in the Eastern Mediterranean.”
“We are cultivating Greece as an anchor of stability in the Mediterranean and Western Balkans and working to systematically strengthen security and energy cooperation with Cyprus,” he stressed.
Referring to Turkey he said that “our immediate concerns are to secure the release of Pastor Andrew Brunson and other unjustly detained US citizens and local embassy staff; to prevent Turkey’s purchase of the Russian S-400 system; and to develop a modus vivendi for our respective forces and local partners in stabilizing Northern Syria and preventing ISIS’ return.”
“We also encourage President Erdogan to implement immediately his recent pledge to lift Turkey’s ongoing state of emergency, and to take additional measures to represent the diverse views of all of Turkey’s citizens and strengthen Turkey’s democracy,” he noted.
US oil & gas giant ExxonMobil together with Qatar Petroleum (QP) acquired an exploration concession for block 10 as part of the third licensing round in April 2017. ExxonMobil is planning to drill in the fourth quarter of 2018.