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Joseph Borel

Josep Borrell, the EU’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, called on Turkey to respect the sovereign rights of Greece and Cyprus.

When asked about Turkish plans to begin hydrocarbon exploration near Greek islands, Borrell said the EU was monitoring developments while being “in close contact” with Athens and Nicosia.

“We are in close contact with our colleagues, the Foreign Ministers of Greece and also of Cyprus, in order to monitor the state of drilling and call on Turkey to stop drilling in areas where there is an EEZ or territorial waters of Cyprus and Greece.”

The EU’s foreign policy chief went on to say that “a strong message has already been sent to Turkey.”

“In our negotiations with Turkey, there are only talks at the moment, this is a matter of paramount importance. Some Member States believe that as long as drilling continues, talks should be stopped. But I think the only way to resolve this kind of issue is to get closer to see how we can make Turkey understand that our good relations will depend decisively on respect for the sovereignty of Cyprus and Greece in disputed waters,” Borrell concluded.

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