Ankara, Turkey – Turkey’s decision on Tuesday to extend a navigational telex (Navtex) reserving an area off Cyprus for drilling activities “will fuel further tensions and insecurity in the Eastern Mediterranean,” European Commission spokesman for external affairs, Peter Stano, said on Wednesday.

He said that this decision comes at a moment when “there is an opportunity to pursue immediate de-escalation, and resume dialogue and negotiations, which is the only path towards lasting solutions.”

Stan also welcomed the withdrawal of the Turkish research vessel Oruc Reis, describing it “an important step paving the way for a meaningful dialogue between Greece and Turkey.”

The EU also calls for a similar decisions as concerns Cyprus, he added.