European Union Foreign Ministers decided on Friday to begin discussions on imposing sanctions on Turkey in response to the country’s provocative actions in the eastern Mediterranean.
EU Minister for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell called on Turkey to abstain from unilateral actions, urging Ankara to engage in talks with the bloc.
He added that there is an agreement to impose restrictions against Turkey, while German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas stated that the sanctions must be discussed during an EU summit in September.
On the Eastern Mediterranean and Turkey, we are clear and determined in defending EU’s interests and solidarity with Greece and Cyprus. We want to find paths towards a healthier relationship. It is in the mutual interest of both the EU and Turkey pic.twitter.com/uGQeqUkBqd
— Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) August 28, 2020
Greek Foreign Affairs Minister Nikos Dendias said that Greece received the unanimous support of all its EU partners.
He added that Borrell presented options for future sanctions against Turkey, which will also be presented to the European Council on September 24.
“I think the Greek side got what it could get from this meeting,” he said, “an understanding that sanctions will come if Turkey does not deescalate tensions and return to a dialogue,” he explained.
Earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that all European Union countries have an obligation to support Greece in the dispute with Turkey.
Commenting during an annual press conference in Berlin, she added: “I have repeatedly tried to avoid a further escalation and this is held partially when talking constantly with both parties. The differences there concern the delimitation of the EEZ and can be addressed only together and this is what Germany is trying to achieve.”
Merkel said she has discussed the issue extensively with French President Emmanuel Macron.