CORSICA — Leaders of EU countries on the Mediterranean were expected on Thursday to send a clear warning to Turkey at an emergency summit hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron, who denounced what he called unacceptable provocations amid growing tensions with Ankara.
“Turkey is no longer a partner in the Mediterranean region” and that today’s meeting is to clarify its red lines and approach to Turkish aggression against Greece and Cyprus.
In it, the French President emphasized that the Med-7’s “will is to avoid an escalation, but that does not mean we should be passive” to Turkish delinquency.
He then urged against that the European Union must have a common position on Turkey.
“We must be tough with the Turkish government and not with the Turkish people who deserve more than the Erdogan government. All unilateral actions of Turkey, such as the Turkish-Libyan memorandum, without respecting the rights of Greece, are unacceptable. It unfairly multiplies the challenges. We are talking about respect for international law. We want to avoid further escalation, the goal is an agreement but under certain conditions and Turkey must clarify its intentions. We Europeans must look at the red lines to restart a fruitful dialogue with Turkey, because there is no other choice. Europe must therefore have a more coherent voice and a more united stance.”
He also emphasized the fact that the Med-7 Summit is taking place in Corsica is not accidental as the island is a French stronghold in the Mediterranean.
The Med-7 is a bloc of seven Southern European Union member states – Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain.
Speaking Thursday to EU lawmakers, Greek European Affairs Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis appealed for support from European partners, saying the tensions over energy rights “constitute by themselves a grave threat to our common security architecture.”
He said that Turkey is looking beyond Greece and is “a major destabilizing factor in the wider area,” citing Turkish government actions in Libya, Syria and beyond.