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Germany urges Turkish-Greek talks to avoid 'catastrophe'

FILE PHOTO: German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas attends a joint news conference with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud in Berlin, Germany August 19, 2020. John Macdougall/Pool

ATHENS (Reuters) - Germany urged Greece and Turkey to solve their dispute over overlapping resource claims in the eastern Mediterranean Sea through direct talks, its foreign minister said on Tuesday, warning of the risk of a military confrontation.

“The current situation in the eastern Mediterranean is equivalent to playing with fire,” Heiko Maas said in Athens. “Every little spark can lead to catastrophe.”

Maas, who will also hold talks with Turkish officials in the hope of de-escalating the situation, said Germany and its EU partners stood alongside Greece in its dispute with Turkey.

Reporting by Renee Maltezou; Writing by Joseph Nasr; Editing by Thomas Seythal