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EU alarmed over Turkey’s tension escalation in East Med

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Brussels is anxious over Turkey’s tension escalating activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, said the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell who will visit Nicosia to discuss the matter.

He said Greece and Cyprus were right to complain about Turkey`s drilling activities near their coastlines and the EU27 are concerned about the increasing tension.

The EU’s High Representative made the comments during a videoconference, with the participation of the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

According to EU sources, Borrell will visit Cyprus to prepare for the Foreign Affairs Council on 13 July.

“Some member states raised also the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, where we are increasingly concerned about the increased escalations from Turkey.

We agreed on the need for de-escalation and to return to a true partnership,” said Borrell.

He said the issue was raised with Pompeo on calls to send a joint transatlantic message to Turkey for de-escalation.

“Yes, the issue has been discussed…It has been mentioned, by me and some member states, the Secretary of State has been considering the situation in the Mediterranean, but mainly related to the situation in Libya.

In any case, the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean is becoming worse, Greece and Cyprus rightly complain about the fact that there are drillings very near to their coastlines.

On the next Foreign Affairs Council we will put the issue of our relation with Turkey, taking into account all aspects of this complex relation.”