A unified Europe has stood by Greece against Turkey’s threats over its sovereignty of islands in the Eastern Mediterranean with a warning adopted unanimously by the European Council.
“The European Council expressed deep concern about recent repeated actions and statements by Turkey. Turkey must respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all EU Member States. Recalling its previous conclusions and the statement of 25 March 2021, the European Council expects Turkey to fully respect international law, to de-escalate tensions in the interest of regional stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, and to promote good neighbourly relations in a sustainable way.” read the statement issued by the European Council which slammed by Turkey but well received by Greece and its Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
“I repeat that we are fully covered by the conclusions that were unanimously adopted and which express concern about Turkey’s provocations. They also call on [Turkey] to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all member-states and to de-escalate the tension which it is cultivating in the Eastern Mediterranean, so as to promote peace and stability in the wider region.”
The European Council’s message to Turkey is clear, Mitsotakis said at the press conference. Turkey has two options, he added, either to de-escalate and hold constructive dialog or to escalate tension, which will certainly lead Turkey to distancing itself further from the European family, and also leaves the option of further EU measures against Turkey.
“Turkey must stop its extremely aggressive rhetoric challenging Greek sovereignty; Greece has responded with facts to every challenge anyway,” Mitsotakis said. “I will always keep inviting Turkey to a goodwill dialog, but we are also prepared to defend our sovereignty decisively.”
Asked if he planned to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Madrid on June 29 and 30, the Greek premier said it is up to Erdogan to restore channels of communication. “I still believe that we should be meeting and talking,” he reiterated.