European Council President Charles Michel has set aside an entire EU27 dinner to tackle the eastern Mediterranean and EU relations with Turkey, while President Erdogan has sent a letter outlying Ankara's position and a suggested way forward.
According to a press release, the dinner will be “entirely devoted to the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and our relations with Turkey,” while the objective would be to create a space for a constructive dialogue with Ankara.
Michel, who announced the agenda of a Special Council Meeting on Thursday and Friday in Brussels, said the leaders summit would address EU-China relations, the situation in Belarus, and the recent escalation in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
'This will only be possible if Turkey engages constructively. All options remain on the table to defend the legitimate interests of the EU and its Member States'
During the dinner, Michel said, the objective would be seek ways for constructive dialogue with Turkey to achieve stability and security in the whole region, and to ensure full respect for the sovereignty and sovereign rights of all EU Member States.
“This will only be possible if Turkey engages constructively. All options remain on the table to defend the legitimate interests of the EU and its Member States,” Michel said.
While Nicosia says it would support sanctions against Belarus, it has stood firm by its position that this would be possible only if similar actions by the bloc were also put forth against Turkey, a move European leaders have not embraced enthusiastically.
In a last-minute letter to EU leaders, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan outlined Ankara’s approach towards the eastern Mediterranean, including suggested proposals for solution of disputes.
Erdogan sent a letter on Wednesday to EU states reiterating Ankara's call for dialogue with Greece amid tensions in the eastern Mediterranean.
Nicosia has been urging its EU counterparts to take a tougher stance against Turkey, arguing that the Republic of Cyprus’ sovereign rights as well as international law were being violated by Turkish actions in waters off Cyprus.