France is calling for sanctions against Turkey over the worsening Mediterranean situation
France is leading next month’s drive for EU sanctions against Turkey, a danger raised by the union in October, but has not yet obtained support from EU governments other than Greece and Cyprus. The sanctions are focused on gas discovery in the Mediterranean by Turkey.
Paris says Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has not heeded the October 1 order from EU leaders to withdraw or face dire consequences from the conflict over gas discovery in the Mediterranean. France is now reportedly calling for sanctions against Turkey.
Thursday’s meeting in Porticcio (Corsica) of the seven Southern European Union (EU) countries expressed support for Greece and Cyprus against Turkey’s actions in the eastern Mediterranean, and emphasised the implementation of sanctions on Turkey.
In a statement released by the Heads of State of Greece, Cyprus and Spain, French President Emmanuel Macron stated: “We want to send a message of unity to Greece and Cyprus, support for serious sanctions and threats to European sovereignty,” Italy, Portugal and Malta are part of the informal MED7 coalition, along with France. The aim of this alliance is to ensure that common problems such as the economy, society, immigration and defence policy are organised well.
Reuters quoted an unnamed EU diplomat as saying that “Turkey is a key ally in many areas, so there is no consensus on the Council.” EU) But it now appears that France is leading a crackdown on Turkey, which has been carrying out illicit discovery of gas in the Mediterranean.
In responding to Turkish gas discovery, France is one of the countries that has demonstrated the toughest challenges. They also sent ships and military planes to the region this summer to demonstrate their support for Greece. He urged ‘Ankara to abandon exploration and all illegal activities and return to the negotiating table,’ and warned Greece’s Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, that otherwise they will go to The Hague Court of Justice.
Turkey, a NATO member, has turned to dictatorship, undermining the goals of the EU in Syria and Libya, but remains a strategic partner in a role which cannot be ignored by the EU. In recent years, there have been grave disputes with France.
One of the countries holding back EU sanctions on Ankara is Germany. Berlin had hoped for Greek-Turkish mediation, but was angered when Ankara, which was sailing for a reconnaissance ship before meeting EU leaders in October, started exploring Cyprus gas again last month.