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EU leaders tell Turkey to dial-down rhetoric

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The European Council has expressed deep concern regarding Turkey’s recent behaviour toward EU-members Greece and Cyprus as tension in the Eastern Mediterranean rises.

In Thursday’s Council conclusions adopted by EU leaders, Ankara was urged to refrain from threatening its neighbours.

“The European Council expressed deep concern about recent repeated actions and statements by Turkey.

“Turkey must respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all EU Member States.

“Recalling its previous conclusions and the statement of 25 March 2021, the European Council expects Turkey to fully respect international law, to de-escalate tensions in the interest of regional stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, and to promote good neighbourly relations in a sustainable way”.

President Nicos Anastasiades tweeted his approval of the summit’s conclusions.

In a post on Twitter, Anastasiades points to elements of the conclusions, which are mostly those included in the draft that had circulated before the start of the meeting.

He and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis briefed EU leaders on Turkey’s “aggressive behaviour and continued illegal actions” in reopening Varosha, insistence on a two-state solution and brinkmanship in the Aegean.

“Consensus that Turkey’s rhetoric and activities are unacceptable by EU.

“Colleagues shared the view Turkey should refrain from provocations, respect sovereignty of EU countries and allow resumption of talks for a solution to Cyprus issue, in accordance with UN body of work,” Anastasiades tweeted.

The European Council also welcomed Ukraine and Moldova as candidate countries and opened the possibility of candidate status for Georgia. The door was opened for Bosnia and Herzegovina as well.

“Progress now rests on partners. Enlargement process’ conditions are clear, and everything will be merit-based,” tweeted Anastasiades.