EU Calls for End to Tensions in East Mediterranean

Turkish Navy vessels escorting the Oruc Reis seismic vessel - Credit: Turkish Defense Ministry
Turkish Navy vessels escorting the Oruc Reis seismic vessel - Credit: Turkish Defense Ministry

The European Union's executive called on Monday for dialogue with Turkey and demanded that Ankara refrains from unilateral steps that stoke tensions in eastern Mediterranean.

Should dialogue not bear fruit, a spokesman for the European Commission told a briefing on Monday, the EU has already moved towards sanctions.

That came after the 27 EU foreign ministers discussed last week tensions between the bloc's members Greece and Cyprus and Turkey, a NATO ally. A senior EU diplomat said separately on Friday of the situation:

"As well as sticks (sanctions), there will be carrots too to get Ankara to engage seriously in dialogue. These carrots could be progress on a new customs union and more money for the refugee programme," the person said under condition of anonymity. 

(Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska, John Chalmers)


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