Turkey’s military exercises between two Greek islands raise EU concern

Aug. 6 2010

As Turkey plans military exercises on Monday and Tuesday in an area stretching between the two Greek islands of Rhodes and Kastellorizo the European Union is expressing concern.

Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, on Sunday condemned the deployment of Greek and Turkish naval forces in the Eastern Mediterranean.

And he called for dialogue and negotiations to define maritime boundaries.

“Latest naval mobilisations in Eastern Mediterranean are extremely worrying. They will not contribute to finding any solutions. On the contrary, they will lead to a greater antagonism and distrust,” he said in a written statement.

“Maritime boundaries must be defined through dialogue and negotiations, not through unilateral actions and mobilisation of naval forces. Disputes must be solved in accordance with international law,” he added.

The European Union is committed to help solving such disputes and disagreements in this area of vital security interest, he also said.

And he pledged that as the High Representative for EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy, he would deploy all efforts necessary to re-establish such a dialogue and to facilitate re-engagement.

Borrell also sent the message that the present course of action will not serve the interests neither of the European Union, nor of Turkey.

“We have to work together for the security in the Mediterranean,” he concluded.

Turkey issued the navigational telex reserving the area between the two Greek islands last Thursday.

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