US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s attendance at the sixth summit meeting between Israel, Greece and Cyprus in Jerusalem on March 20 has added a new and troubling dimension to the already tense ties between Ankara and Washington. Turkish officials construed the Jerusalem summit as an anti-Turkish gathering and are displeased with Washington’s support for Turkey’s principal rivals in the eastern Mediterranean.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, however, warmly welcomed the backing the summit received from Washington.
The Greek daily To Vima summed up what the leaders would not say openly when it wrote that “the summit sent a strong message to Ankara regarding energy security and its hostile behaviour in the eastern Mediterranean.”
The Israeli media carried similar assessments, which were also colored by the increasing tension between Turkey and Israel over developments in the Gaza Strip and now the issue of Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights.
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