Escalating tensions in Turkey’s relations with EU member states will dominate today’s Med-7 Summit in Corsica, where French President Emmanuel Macron has received the leaders of seven Mediterranean countries.
Greek government sources note that Athens expects a strong message of support from the Med-7 Summit, while information indicates that the draft of the Joint Declaration satisfies the Greek side, as it includes clear references to Turkish delinquency in the East Mediterranean.
Greek government sources say that in his speech, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will have the opportunity to put pressure on the EU to enhance its migration policies. At the same time, he will raise the issue of Turkish provocation at a time when sanctions against Ankara are on the table and time is running out in the lead up to the September 24-25 EU Summit in Brussels.
On the sidelines of the Med-7 Summit, Mitsotakis will meet with French President Macron on the main topic of the defense cooperation agreement between the two countries and the purchase of Rafale aircrafts and other French defense equipment. The meeting will take place at 16.00, shortly before the start of the Med-7 Conference.
However, in the lead up to today’s Med-7 Summit, Macron highlighted that “Turkey is no longer a partner in the Mediterranean region” and that today’s meeting is to clarify its red lines and approach to Turkish aggression against Greece and Cyprus.
In it, the French President emphasized that the Med-7’s “will is to avoid an escalation, but that does not mean we should be passive” to Turkish delinquency.
He then urged against that the European Union must have a common position on Turkey.
“We must be tough with the Turkish government and not with the Turkish people who deserve more than the Erdoğan government. All unilateral actions of Turkey, such as the Turkish-Libyan memorandum, without respecting the rights of Greece, are unacceptable. It unfairly multiplies the challenges. We are talking about respect for international law. We want to avoid further escalation, the goal is an agreement but under certain conditions and Turkey must clarify its intentions. We Europeans must look at the red lines to restart a fruitful dialogue with Turkey, because there is no other choice. Europe must therefore have a more coherent voice and a more united stance.”
He also emphasized the fact that the Med-7 Summit is taking place in Corsica is not accidental as the island is a French stronghold in the Mediterranean.
The Med-7 is a bloc of seven Southern European Union member states – Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain.