German Foreign Minister Haiko Maas has made a very strange comment in equating the tensions in the East Mediterranean equally between Greece and Germany’s Turkish allies.
Maas said that no one wants to resolve Mediterranean issues with warships, at a time when Germany’s Turkish allies have been using warships for over two weeks to create hostilities and tensions in the East Mediterranean.
“Very concerned” about escalating tensions and challenges in the Eastern Mediterranean, Maas said, warning that if a diplomatic solution is not possible by the time of the European Council on EU-Turkey relations, this will be “extremely problematic” for the Union’s dialogue with Turkey.
He called on both sides to contribute to de-escalation, equating Greece equally to Germany’s Turkish allies in contributing destabilization in the Eastern Mediterranean.
“We are still very concerned about the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, about the escalation and the challenges that exist there. In my talks in Athens and Ankara, I asked for de-escalation. We will see how things turn out at the end of this month, where the ships will move, and we will also ask for the conditions to be created here, so that Turkey and Greece can solve the problems directly and contribute everything in order to not reach a military confrontation,” said Maas from the Informal Meeting of EU Foreign Ministers taking place today and tomorrow in Berlin, under the German Presidency of the EU Council.
Answering a question on whether the German side is optimistic about finding a common ground between the EU member states, Maas stressed the need for a diplomatic solution to the Greek-Turkish dispute, noting that he had asked for the same during recent visits. in Athens and Ankara.
“No one wants to resolve this dispute in the Eastern Mediterranean with warships. Direct talks between Athens and Ankara must also take place. The situation remains very difficult. The preconditions for these talks are to end the existing movements in the Eastern Mediterranean. Each side can contribute to this and thus create space for diplomatic talks. Because the sides will certainly not sit at the table if there are warships facing each other in the Eastern Mediterranean,” he said.
Asked whether the EU could impose sanctions on Belarus until new sanctions are imposed on Turkey, the German minister stressed that “we can not put up conflicts like the one in Belarus with the one between Greece and Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean. Because if we start with that, as an EU we will not be capable of action,” he continued.
As for whether Turkish drilling is in line with international law, he merely stated that “there are many legal issues that need to be clarified”, adding that “probably – and this would be the easiest way – to resolve them in competent courts. This is also an issue in these talks,” he added.
“In any case, a European Council on the issue of Turkey is scheduled to take place in the coming weeks, and I am convinced that by then a solution must be found to the dispute between Greece and Turkey,” Maas continued, warning that “If that does not happen, it will be extremely problematic for the EU-Turkey dialogue.”
“That is why,” he concluded, “until then we are trying to use all the possibilities in order to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis that exists there.”
Germany is avoiding at all costs to condemn Turkey and sanction the country for its continued aggression against European Union members in the hope of maintaining the centuries long alliance. However, pressure is building as Turkey is unapologetically maintaining its violations of Greece’s maritime space.