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France and Germany Give Turkey One Week to Halt Provocations

The Turkish drilling ship Oruc Reis ship is currently sailing in waters over the Greek continental shelf. File photo

France and Germany accused Turkey on Thursday of continuing to provoke the European Union with its actions in the Eastern Mediterranean, and gave it one week to clarify its positions, Reuters reports.
“It’s clear to us that Turkey is permanently carrying out provocative acts which are unacceptable,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told a news conference alongside his German and Polish counterparts.
According to the report, Le Drian said the ball was in Ankara’s court, but that the European Union was ready to change the balance of power if Turkey didn’t return to dialogue.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called Turkey’s decision to send the vessel back to the Mediterranean “inadmissible.”
Asked about the possibility of bringing forward EU sanctions, he said the bloc would wait one week to decide how to react.
“It’s been twice that expected discussions have not taken place and we don’t know when they will happen,” he said. “We must wait to see if there is progress in a week and then we’ll see what attitude needs to be adopted by the EU,” Reuters quotes him as saying.
Despite an EU summit deal on October 2 aimed at persuading Ankara to stop exploring for natural gas in Greek and Cypriot waters, Turkey said on Wednesday it was restarting operations.
Turkey withdrew its vessel Oruc Reis last month, just before the EU summit, during which economic sanctions were discussed, only to redeploy it on Monday.
The bloc said it would review the possibility of sanctions on Turkey at a European summit in December.

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