Turkey criticises joint statement by EU Med Group

  • President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Turkey has criticised a joint statement adopted by the European Union (EU) Member Southern European Countries (MED9) after a summit on Thursday opposing its actions toward EU member states Cyprus and Greece, Cumhuriyet reported on Saturday.

“Their sections on the Eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus and irregular migration are biased, visionless and disconnected from reality,” said Turkish spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Tanju Bilgiç.

 

“We invite the EU countries that signed the aforementioned declaration to abandon their one-sided and biased stance, which they blindly followed Greece and the Greek Cypriot Administration under the guise of solidarity,” he added in a written response to a question about the joint declaration.

In the summit, hosted in the Greek capital Athens on Thursday, Greece’s prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that Turkey must stop its “illegal actions” against Cyprus and Greece.

Our fundamental priority is security and stability under international law and the Convention on the Law of the Sea,” he said, the Greek daily Kathimerini reported. “This also applies to Turkey, which must abandon illegal actions against Cyprus and Greece.”

Turkey’s actions, he added, are “yet another factor which underscores the need for Europe’s strategic autonomy, and also highlights it as a necessary goal.”

He also said that the summit’s joint declaration “is also clear regarding hybrid threats, in this case the instrumentalization of the migrant issue, which acquires a special dimension due to recent developments in Afghanistan.”

“We will not allow the recurrence of the phenomenon of uncontrolled migration flows that we experienced in 2015,” he said, referring to the mass influx of Syrian refugees from Turkey into Europe.

Greece and Turkey oppose taking in any mass influx of refugees from Afghanistan, following that country’s swift takeover by the Taliban in August. Both countries are building barriers along their respective international borders with Iran and Turkey to stem any new inflows of refugees from the east.

On Friday, Mitsotakis described Turkey as an important partner for tackling any new migration challenge Europe might face. He also called for a common policy in Europe to address this issue.

Mitsotakis discussed the issue by phone with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last month.

 

“I’ve had a very open discussion with President Erdogan, and I think we agree that it is important to keep potential refugees and migrants as close to their home country as possible,” he said, Reuters reported. He added that it “made sense” for the EU to support Turkey on this issue.

Greece and Turkey have had exploratory talks to resolve their decades-old dispute over maritime boundaries, although they have made little progress to date.

“We’ve had this difference for 40 years,” Mitsotakis said. “Let’s try to … pick up from where we started through the exploratory talks and if we cannot agree, let’s agree on a framework that will take the difference to the International Court at The Hague, and we will respect the decision of the court.”

“There is only one template, and that’s international law,” he said.

Source: Ahval

“Their sections on the Eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus and irregular migration are biased, visionless and disconnected from reality,” said Turkish spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Tanju Bilgiç.

 

“We invite the EU countries that signed the aforementioned declaration to abandon their one-sided and biased stance, which they blindly followed Greece and the Greek Cypriot Administration under the guise of solidarity,” he added in a written response to a question about the joint declaration.

In the summit, hosted in the Greek capital Athens on Thursday, Greece’s prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that Turkey must stop its “illegal actions” against Cyprus and Greece.

Our fundamental priority is security and stability under international law and the Convention on the Law of the Sea,” he said, the Greek daily Kathimerini reported. “This also applies to Turkey, which must abandon illegal actions against Cyprus and Greece.”

Turkey’s actions, he added, are “yet another factor which underscores the need for Europe’s strategic autonomy, and also highlights it as a necessary goal.”

He also said that the summit’s joint declaration “is also clear regarding hybrid threats, in this case the instrumentalization of the migrant issue, which acquires a special dimension due to recent developments in Afghanistan.”

“We will not allow the recurrence of the phenomenon of uncontrolled migration flows that we experienced in 2015,” he said, referring to the mass influx of Syrian refugees from Turkey into Europe.

Greece and Turkey oppose taking in any mass influx of refugees from Afghanistan, following that country’s swift takeover by the Taliban in August. Both countries are building barriers along their respective international borders with Iran and Turkey to stem any new inflows of refugees from the east.

On Friday, Mitsotakis described Turkey as an important partner for tackling any new migration challenge Europe might face. He also called for a common policy in Europe to address this issue.

Mitsotakis discussed the issue by phone with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last month.

 

“I’ve had a very open discussion with President Erdogan, and I think we agree that it is important to keep potential refugees and migrants as close to their home country as possible,” he said, Reuters reported. He added that it “made sense” for the EU to support Turkey on this issue.

Greece and Turkey have had exploratory talks to resolve their decades-old dispute over maritime boundaries, although they have made little progress to date.

“We’ve had this difference for 40 years,” Mitsotakis said. “Let’s try to … pick up from where we started through the exploratory talks and if we cannot agree, let’s agree on a framework that will take the difference to the International Court at The Hague, and we will respect the decision of the court.”

“There is only one template, and that’s international law,” he said.

Source: Ahval