The US decision to homeport one of its biggest military ship, the expeditionary sea base ship USS Hershel “Woody” Williams, to Greece will not promote peace and stability in Eastern Mediterranean amid the current tension between Ankara and Athens, Turkish Parliament’s speaker Mustafa Sentop told Sputnik.
“The position of a mediator in a dispute between the two countries is to remain impartial and objective. Unfortunately, the US has chosen one side in the Eastern Mediterranean … Another symbolic gesture in this regard is the decision to deploy the warship to Souda Bay.
These actions of the United States will neither promote peace and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean nor serve the US strategic interests”, Sentop said.
At the same time, Sentop added that the US military presence in the Eastern Mediterranean will not pose a threat to Turkey’s security.
In late September, US State Secretary Mike Pompeo visited Greece and held talks with the country’s leadership. During a visit to Souda Bay on Crete, Pompeo announced the troop-carrying vessel would be homeported at the base.
The tensions between Ankara and Athens escalated last month after Turkey’s vessel Oruc Reis began exploration drilling in the Greek-claimed waters in the Eastern Mediterranean. Greece, which considers this territory to be its exclusive economic zone, has put its armed forces at high alert and vowed to protect its sovereign rights using all means necessary.