What Dendias said to the 27 Foreign Ministers about Borrell’s report on Turkey

Nikos Dendias and Josep Borrell.

During his speech to the European Council on Friday, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias spoke in detail about the content of the report.

The report by the European Union’s High Representative Josep Borrell is judged by Greece as positive and includes many satisfactory elements, although there are some shortcomings.

“The report on Turkey presented to the Council of Foreign Ministers by High Representative Borrell and the European Commission contains positive elements for Greece and is considered balanced,” diplomatic sources said to To Vima.

“It emphasises a dual approach,” the sources added.

The positive elements in the report, which was requested by the European Council last December following the intervention of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, is the fact it contains a dual approach.

This means a process for a possible positive agenda and the prospect of restrictive measures, which are mentioned explicitly and in detail.

It is pointed out that these measures could be adopted if Turkey continues to violate international law and actions that would have a negative impact on the interests of the European Union and its Member States.

Greece has repeatedly stressed for an incentive to help Turkey return to cooperation and end its provocative actions.

As for the so-called positive agenda, it is stated that it could be implemented in a partial and reversible way that will depend on whether Turkey will show constructive behavior in the coming months.

It also welcomes the fact that the report is clear on the issue of the delimitation of the Exclusive Economic Zone and the Continental Shelf.

As the report says, the issue should be addressed through dialogue under international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

If no solution is found in this dialogue, the issue should be referred to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Regarding immigration and refugees, there is a clear reference to the events of February 2020 in Evros which highlights that Turkey actively encouraged migrants and refugees to enter the European Union by force.

Tensions Rise at Greek-Turkish border – The Gryphon
Evros Crisis – February-March 2020.

This is once again recognition that the borders of Greece are also borders of Europe.

Turkey’s actions in February and March last year were in complete contradiction to the 2016 Joint Declaration of the EU-Turkey.

Reference is also made to the return of illegal immigrants to Turkey from the Greek islands, which is an obligation under the Joint Declaration.

The report makes clear reference to Turkish violations of Greek airspace, but there is no broader reference to the fact that Turkey has repeatedly violated UNCLOS, which is also part of European law.

There is also no reference to the Casus Belli [Cause For War], which is a blatant violation of the United Nations Charter.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said earlier on Monday that the report by Borrell on Turkey was a “positive” step but has shortcomings.

Στις Καστανιές Έβρου Δένδιας - Μπορέλ: "Η ΕΕ θα προστατέψει τα εξωτερικά της σύνορα" | TheReport.gr
Nikos Dendias and Josep Borrell.

“The report is positive in principle as it rightly approaches Turkey as a problem that concerns the whole of Europe and underlines the problems caused by Turkey’s behavior,” Dendias said.

Dendias outlined that Turkey’s casus belli, plans to reopen parts of Varosha in Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus, and violations of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) were not included in the report.

READ MORE: Dendias: The Borrell report on Turkey is “positive” but has shortcomings.

GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.