September 10, 2020
French President Emmanuel Macron appeared fierce against Turkey, urging the members of the European Union South MED7 that “Europe must unite on the unacceptable behavior of Turkey.”
Addressing the leaders of Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Malta and Cyprus gathered in Corsica’s capital Ajaccio for the MED7 Summit on Thursday morning, Macron said, among others, that “Turkey is no longer a partner in the Mediterranean region.”
He stressed that the Summit today should clarify its red lines and approach regarding Turkey and will push for a common EU position regarding Turkey.
“Our will is to avoid an escalation, but that doesn’t mean we should be passive,” he said adding that “the EU must have common position on Turkey.
The Summit is set to be dominated by growing tensions over Turkey’s oil and gas ambitions in the East Mediterranean Sea..
Relations between the EU and Turkey are badly strained on a number of issues, including exploration for hydrocarbons in the eastern Mediterranean, where Ankara is at loggerheads with EU member states Cyprus and Greece.
Turkey signed a maritime boundaries agreement ignoring Greece, it is conducting hydrocabron research in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus, Macron stressed.
Macron said further that France and Germany were working on a coordinated action to show solidarity with Greece, where thousands of migrants were left without shelter on Wednesday after fires gutted their overcrowded camp on the Greek island of Lesvos.
Macron will hold a meeting with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Thursday afternoon, where the two leaders are expected to discuss also final details on defense procurement.
Greek media write today that France is planning to loan two brand new frigates to the Greece for the standoff against Turkey in the East Mediterranean.
with info from Reuters & Greek media.