EU Leaders to Condemn Turkey for Provoking Greece, Cyprus



European Council (file photo)

European Union leaders are expected to condemn Turkey’s provocative actions in the Aegean and express “full solidarity with Cyprus and Greece” at Thursday’s meeting of the European Council in Brussels.

According to a text obtained by Bloomberg dated March 21, EU leaders will “strongly condemn Turkey’s continued illegal actions in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea”.

The draft reads that “recalling its conclusions of October 2014 and the Declaration of 21 September 2005, the European Council urgently calls on Turkey to cease these actions and respect the sovereign right of Cyprus to explore and exploit its natural resources in accordance with EU and International Law”.

It calls on Turkey to respect international law and good neighborly relations, “and normalize relations with all EU Member States, including the Republic of Cyprus”.

Greek PM to raise issue of Turkish provocation

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will raise the issue of Turkey’s actions in the Aegean and Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) during the European Council meeting, according to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency.

Tsipras is also expected to have meetings with European Council President Donald Tusk, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May over the two days. Tsipras will discuss Turkey, Cyprus and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia naming issue.

He is also expected to emphasize the issue of the two Greek soldiers currently being held in a Turkish prison, seeking to put pressure on Ankara for their swift return.