A summit of seven European Union member states on the Mediterranean due to take place on Thursday will push for a common EU position regarding Turkey, said French President Emmanuel Macron, host of the gathering.
Relations between the EU and Turkey are badly strained on a number of issues, including exploration for hydrocarbons in the eastern Mediterranean, where Ankara is at loggerheads with EU member states Cyprus and Greece.
At the same time, Greece’s deputy foreign minister has sent the message that European Union leaders should impose “severe” economic sanctions on Turkey for a limited time if Ankara does not remove its military vessels and gas drilling ships from waters off Cyprus.
“The sanctions should put this pressure, to be severe, for a limited time, but severe, in order to send the message that Europe is here to negotiate but is also here to defend its values,” Miltiadis Varvitsiotis told the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee.
EU leaders will hold a special summit on Sept. 24-25 to discuss how to resolve the crisis between Cyprus and Turkey over energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean.