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France, Germany want constructive dialogue with Turkey over Mediterranean

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (R) and French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in Berlin, Germany on 27 March 2019 [Abdülhamid Hoşbaş/Anadolu Agency]
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (R) and French Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in Berlin, Germany on 27 March 2019 [Abdülhamid Hoşbaş/Anadolu Agency]

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and his German counterpart Heiko Maas expressed their countries' desire to have constructive dialogue with Turkey over the Eastern Mediterranean hydrocarbon drillings, Anadolu reported yesterday.

During a meeting in Paris, Le Drian claimed that Turkey is violating the territorial waters of two EU member states; Greece and Cyprus, adding that this is "completely unacceptable".

"The EU is ready for dialogue. If strong condemnation and sanctions are necessary, the EU would use them… The EU mobilised all diplomatic efforts to prepare for a constructive dialogue with Ankara. Germany and France have agreement on this issue," he continued.

For his part, Heiko Maas claimed that Turkey "destabilises" the regions in Libya and the Eastern Mediterranean, stressing that the EU insists on protecting the sovereignty of Greece and Cyprus.

"We cannot exit from this embarrassing situation except through dialogue."

READ: EU set to sanction Turkey over ships in disputed east Med exploration area

The High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, wrote on Twitter: "On the Eastern Mediterranean and Turkey, we are clear and determined in defending EU's interests and solidarity with Greece and Cyprus."

He added: "We want to find paths towards a healthier relationship. It is in the mutual interest of both the EU and Turkey."

Tensions have been escalating in the East Mediterranean over Turkish drillings in what it says is its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) based on international law, while Greece and Greek Cyprus claim that Turkey is violating their EEZs.

Greek and Cyprus have called on the EU to help them protect their rights, while Turkey says it will take all necessary measures to protect its property.

READ: Turkey aims to rid itself of the shackles imposed by energy imports

Categories
CyprusEurope & RussiaFranceGermanyGreeceMiddle EastNewsTurkey
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