Turkey: EU should act as ‘honest mediator’ in Eastern Med

Turkey: EU should act as ‘honest mediator’ in Eastern Med

 

The EU needs to act as an “honest mediator” in the Turkey-Greece negotiations on the Eastern Mediterranean, the Turkish foreign minister said on Tuesday.

Speaking at a joint news conference in Ankara with his Hungarian counterpart Peter Szijjarto, Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey always expects the EU to act strategically and with good sense.

Cavusoglu stressed that Turkey gave diplomacy a chance, but the same effort was not reciprocated by the Greek side, with Athens recently boycotting NATO meetings aimed at defusing tensions.

In August, Turkey resumed energy exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean after Greece and Egypt signed a controversial maritime delimitation deal, spurning Turkey’s goodwill gesture in halting the exploration.

The Oruc Reis vessel recently returned to Turkey’s southern port of Antalya.

Turkey has consistently opposed Greece’s efforts to declare an exclusive economic zone based on small islands near Turkish shores, violating the interests of Turkey, the country with the longest coastline in the Mediterranean.

Ankara has also said energy resources near the island of Cyprus must be shared fairly between the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and the Greek Cypriot administration of Southern Cyprus.

Szijjarto, for his part, hailed Turkey’s role in hosting millions of refugees.

Had it not been for Turkey, thousands of migrants would have landed at the EU borders, he said.

“Whether they like it or not, the EU’s security is significantly in the hands of Turkey,” he said.

Turkey is currently hosting 4 million Syrian refugees, making it the largest refugee-hosting nation in the world.

(Reuters)

 

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