European Union warns Turkey of sanctions over Mediterranean drilling

Lester Mason
July 13, 2019

According to sources, no states objected to the measures set out in the statement.

"The Council endorses the [European] Commission's proposal to reduce the pre-accession assistance to Turkey for 2020 and invites the European Investment Bank to review its lending activities in Turkey, notably with regard to sovereign-backed lending", it said.

Its arrival came two months after another ship, the Fatih, began drilling off Cyprus's west coast escorted by a frigate. The step was taken "with the aim of improving the communication between the communities and bringing all Cypriots closer together", a joint statement from Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said.

Cyprus has waged a far-reaching diplomatic campaign, accusing Turkey of breaching the republic's sovereignty by encroaching on its exclusive economic zone in its efforts to stake a claim to the resources.

The island has been ethnically split between its majority Greek population in the south and Turks in the north since an Athens-inspired coup aimed at union with Greece prompted Ankara to order a full-scale invasion in 1974 and seize the northern third. On the divided island, an internationally recognised government is part of the European Union but Turkey backs a breakaway area.

The EU is reluctant to be too hard on Erdogan, needing Turkey - which has been trying fruitlessly to join the bloc for 14 years - for security cooperation and to keep him from flooding Greek islands with more refugees and migrants.

The Egyptian minister said the ministry has been following up with great concern the recent developments regarding Turkish plans to start exploratory drilling for oil and gas off Cyprus.

The incident had been reported in the Turkish Cypriot media earlier this week and was also raised by Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci during a meeting with United Nations special envoy Elizabeth Spehar on Wednesday.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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