EU: Turkey actions spark regional tensions

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EU Foreign Ministers Tuesday called for a reversal of the Varosha opening while voicing disappointment over Turkey rebooting its East Med energy search.

The EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell who chaired the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg announced “the opening of Varosha undermines mutual trust” and the Ministers believe “it increases the tensions and must be reversed.”

In relation to the opening of Varosha and the new Turkish navigation telex (Navtex), the EU27 had a discussion and listened to their colleagues from Greece and Cyprus.

Borrell said after the second round of elections in the Turkish Cypriot community on Sunday negotiations on the Cyprus issue “must begin as soon as possible”.

He said Turkey issuing a Navtex to resume energy exploration between Greece and Cyprus was “regrettable” and “will lead to an increase in tensions and not to de-escalation”.

Earlier this month, the European Council called on Turkey to de-escalate tension and resort to dialogue or sanctions would be an option.
Borrell said EU leaders have taken a position on Turkey and will return to the issue again this week.

He recalled that the European Council would consider the relevant decisions in December.

Turkey is acting against international law and all the conclusions of the European Council, “as the disruptor of peace and stability in the region”, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said in Luxembourg.

“What is the common denominator in all problematic situations in the region: Nagorno-Karabakh, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Cyprus, South-East Mediterranean. The common denominator is Turkey.”