Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that his country’s relations with the European Union are facing a new test due to developments in the eastern Mediterranean, expressing his hope that the Union will give up its biased stance in favor of Greece and Cyprus, while the countries of the Union will hold a summit tomorrow focusing on the future of relations with Ankara.
In a message sent to the heads of states of the Union and its affiliated institutions, Erdogan indicated that “Greece and Cyprus are the cause of the problems, not Turkey,” reiterating his country’s readiness for unconditional dialogue with Greece on the maritime border disputes in the Eastern Mediterranean, and indicating support for NATO’s initiatives ( NATO) in this context.
Erdogan added that Turkey wants to see the eastern Mediterranean region dominated by cooperation, peace and stability through the fair distribution of wealth, but he stressed that Turkey’s demand to stop its search and exploration operations in the eastern Mediterranean is “unjust and unjust.”
In a related context, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that his country and Greece are neighbors, and they must sit at the dialogue table to resolve the outstanding issues between them, without Greece being dragged behind inciting certain parties.
The Turkish minister said that he expected the EU summit to produce positive steps on unresolved issues such as the eastern Mediterranean conflict, the agreement on migrants and the customs union.
Greece and Turkey, the two neighbors and the two members of NATO, have come close to the brink of a military confrontation in recent weeks, after Turkey began exploring for oil and gas in a sea area, demanding Greece for its right to control it, and the two sides conducted simultaneous military maneuvers.
After escalating my rhetoric that continued for weeks, the two countries recently agreed to enter into preliminary talks, following efforts by the European Union and Germany to mediate a solution to the issue through dialogue.
On the other hand, European Council President Charles Michel said that all options are on the table to defend the legitimate interests of the European Union and its member states, in a message to Turkey if it does not take what he called a constructive approach to resolving the current conflicts in the eastern Mediterranean.
In a message to European heads of state and government, Michel affirmed that the upcoming extraordinary European summit will discuss the situation in the eastern Mediterranean and relations with Turkey.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed today in a speech in her country’s parliament the importance of the European Union’s cooperation with Turkey, explaining that the union has multi-dimensional relations with Turkey, and “we must balance our relations again with it.” Merkel praised Turkey’s good hosting of refugees, noting that she is also a member In NATO.