WASHINGTON -- Supreme President Carl R. Hollister has issued the following statement:
"Turkey's ongoing acts of provocation in the eastern Mediterranean--let alone in the broader region--are alarming and a danger. Turkish aggression unnecessarily elevates tensions, contributes to instability, is a detriment to achieving peace, and violates international law. We are deeply concerned.
"Furthermore, Turkey's hostile actions are not in the best interest of the U.S. and are not attributes of a NATO partner. Today, a former U.S. ambassador to Turkey, and a former national security adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, wrote an op-ed titled, 'Turkey is Out of Control.'
"This past weekend, Turkish warships blocked a rig belonging to Italian energy firm ENI from reaching Cypriot waters where the rig had intended to start exploring for gas. The U.S. government has stated it supports the Republic of Cyprus' right to explore for energy resources in its exclusive economic zone.
"Separately, this morning, a Turkish coast guard vessel rammed a coast guard vessel of fellow NATO partner Greece, elevating tensions in the eastern Mediterranean. Incidents such as this one, in addition to many others that have occurred, prompted U.S. Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt to express concern about the possibility of an 'accident' happening in the Aegean.
"We call for the international community to denounce resoundingly Turkey's acts of provocation and address Turkey's aggression in the eastern Mediterranean and the broader region at the highest levels of government."
Supreme President Hollister has sent a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that conveys the community's concerns.
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