GREECE: Tough EU sanctions needed to stop Turkey

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Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has said that if Turkey continues with its aggressive behaviour in the region by disregarding the maritime rights of Greece and Cyprus, Brussels must act swiftly.

Mitsotakis made the comments after meeting German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, in Athens on Tuesday.

They discussed Turkish illegal actions in the Eastern Mediterranean with the Greek PM stressing that if Turkey continues on its course of escalating tensions, EU sanctions are the only option.

He referred to Turkey’s navy issuing a NAVTEX for seismic surveys in the sea area between Cyprus and Crete.

Greece on Wednesday issued its own NAVTEX telling all marine traffic to treat the “unauthorised” Turkish alert as void.

Athens is closely monitoring developments and said it is in a “state of readiness”.

“Challenging Greece and Cyprus’ sovereign rights by Turkey represents a challenge of the sovereign rights of Europe.

If Turkey continues in this direction, the implementation of sanctions by the EU will be the only option,” Mitsotakis said.

He said it is up to Turkey to choose the kind of relationship it wants with Greece, Cyprus, and Europe.

Brussels has imposed limited sanctions on two officials of the Turkish state oil company for illegal drills in Cyprus waters.

“We are counting on our allies support…I believe that right now Turkey is following the wrong path”, Mitsotakis said.

Mass said the decisions of the EU Council of Foreign Ministers reflect clearly EU solidarity towards Greece and Cyprus.

He also assured the German EU Presidency has made clear to Turkey that it must end its provocative stance against Greece, in order to be integrated into a dialogue.

“Otherwise, this perspective is impossible.”