Little or no progress was made at the Special European Council by Thursday early evening, with reports saying Greece and Cyprus did not agree with a draft statement on EU relations with Turkey.
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Nicosia stood firm on its previously-stated position, effectively calling on European leaders to be tougher on Turkey before it could agree to impose sanctions against Belarus
According to Greek media, Greek Prime Minister Kyriacos Mitsotakis has rejected a statement on drawn conclusions that included EU relations with Turkey. The draft was put together by European Council President Charles Michel during the first of two days of EU27 leaders summit in Brussels.
Both Nicosia and Athens reportedly found Michel’s statement on Turkey unsatisfactory, with Greek government spokesperson Stelios Petsas telling CNN Greece the text was a “first draft” and his country would not go along with it.
Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades also reportedly stood firm on the previously-stated position of the Republic of Cyprus, effectively calling on his European counterparts to impose new sanctions against Turkey before Nicosia could agree to sanctions against Belarus.
Meanwhile, NATO allies Greece and Turkey have set up a mechanism to avoid accidental clashes in the Eastern Mediterranean, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday.
“I welcome the establishment of a military de-confliction mechanism, achieved through the constructive engagement of Greece and Turkey,” Stoltenberg said in a statement.