Greece has welcomed the withdrawal of the Turkish navy, which has been exploring energy in disputed areas in the eastern Mediterranean, saying it would ease tensions.

The European Union (EU) has threatened to impose sanctions on Turkey if it does not immediately suspend its energy exploration mission in disputed areas of the eastern Mediterranean. Turkey then recalled its ship, the Oruc Reis , in search of energy in the disputed waters, which arrived at the port of Anatolia on Sunday. Greece has hailed it as a positive step in easing tensions in the region.

But Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar rejected Greece’s claim that the Turkish ship had returned to its port as scheduled. He said that this does not mean that the campaign launched by Turkey in the Mediterranean has been abandoned. He told Turkish state news agency Anadolu that “the process of moving forward and retreating under this plan will continue.”

There are no borders between Turkey, Greece and Cyprus in the waters of the Eastern Mediterranean, and the three countries claim some of the richest areas in the region. Turkey’s position is that it has a legal right to the area in which its navy is engaged in energy exploration.

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