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23 April, 2021
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EU foreign affairs chief asks for ‘space to work with Turkish leadership’

Speaking before the EU Parliament, Josep Borrell the situation in the east Med as a "watershed moment in history" that can't be solved with increased confrontation

Kathimerini Greece Newsroom

The European Commission’s vice president in charge of foreign affairs, Josep Borrell, on Tuesday urged leaders meeting later in month at an emergency European Council summit on Turkey and recent developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, “to create the urgently needed space to work with the Turkish leadership, to achieve a de-escalation that will allow to pursue lasting solutions to the underlying problems of today’s crisis.”

Speaking during a debate at the EU Parliament in Brussels on Tuesday, Borrell said that “the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean requires urgent and collective engagement.”

“What has been happening during the summer are unacceptable events. Turkey has to refrain from taking unilateral actions. This is a basic element to allow the dialogue to advance – well, better, to start,” Borrell added, stressing that despite his own and others’ efforts to initiate de-escalation talks between Greece and Turkey, “the situation has not been improving.”

Borrell hailed the cessation of hydrocarbon exploration by Turkey’s Oruc Reis seismic research ship in Greece’s continental shelf as “a step in the right direction,” but expressed reservations about progress on what he described as a “watershed moment in history.”

“The world will go one side or the other, depending on what is going to happen on the next days,” Borrell said, adding that “it is clear that solutions will not come from an increasingly confrontational relationship.”

EU  |  Parliament  |  Josep Borrell  |  Greece  |  Turkey  |  Cyprus  |  eastern Mediterranean  |  energy  |  watershed  |  de-escalation  |  crisis  |  hydrocarbons

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