[Do you have a statement on Cavusoglu’s statement’s and Turkey’s aggressive rhetoric on the EEZ?]
We hope that the two parties can keep the rhetorical tensions down. As regards the situation of drilling, we have made it very clear that there’s no change in U.S. policy on our support for Cyprus’ right to exploit its own continental shelf. I think I would also emphasize on the question of Turkey that we hear a very consistent message from the Greek government regarding the Prime Minister’s commitment and the role that Greece shares with the United States of seeing Turkey remain anchored in the West, anchored in Euro-Atlantic institutions, that’s a normal member of NATO. And I think the Greek government deserves lots of credit for the efforts that the Prime Minister and the Foreign Ministry have made to keep the communication open, to work on opportunities to build greater confidence in the relationship, and to have what we hope over the long term will be a normal and important relationship between two countries that exist in a very challenging and strategically important region of the NATO alliance.
Why is Turkey so aggressive?
I’m not going to speak for the Turkish government. But I would emphasize that the hope of the United States is that channels of dialogue will remain open and that efforts will be made to keep the rhetorical temperature dialed down.
Is the U.S. going to have a great involvement as far as the trilaterals are concerned? How important is this for the security of the region?
It’s a very important question, and it’s something that I’m sure will feature in the U.S.-Greece Strategic Dialogue that will happen on December 13th. We are very supportive of the efforts that Greece has been making along with our partners in Israel and Cyprus to build an important trilateral relationship that crosses over multiple issues in terms of energy, in terms of security, in terms of innovation and technology. These are all areas that the United States remains strongly focused on, so we’re very supportive of this dialogue. We’ve made clear our interests and to give the United States a seat at the table for these conversations – not to replace the dialogue but to help us be more supportively engaged in the efforts that the three governments are taking on their own, and as I said the Strategic Dialogue that we’re conducting in Washington is precisely intended to help us do a better job of synchronizing and exchanging views on strategic developments at a time when strategic competition has returned to the Eastern Mediterranean in a really important and unprecedented way.