EU concerns over Turkey’s drilling activities
The leaders of all 28 EU countries were meeting in Brussels to discuss who will helm the bloc, the union's strategic agenda for 2019-2024 and its Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF).
"DRILLING ACTIVITIES HAVE NEGATIVE IMPACT"
In the closing statement of meeting, the EU leaders claimed that Turkey’s drilling activities were illegal. It said the activities have a “negative impact” on EU-Turkey relations and called on Turkey to “respect the sovereign rights” of Greek Cypriots.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry condemned a statement Tuesday by the EU’s General Affairs Council (GAC) which expressed serious concerns over Turkey's “current illegal drilling activities” in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The GAC said it "deplores that Turkey has not yet responded to the European Union's repeated calls to cease such activities" and underlined the "serious immediate negative impact that such illegal actions have across the range of EU-Turkey relations".
"TURKEY STANDS FOR PEACE IN ALL SURROUNDING SEAS"
The Foreign Ministry said "these conclusions show how far the EU is from understanding the steps taken by Turkey despite the conditions it finds itself in and the challenges it faces."
The ministry also noted that Turkey always stands for "peace and stability" in all the surrounding seas, including the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean. "Those taking steps against the legitimate rights and interests of Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean and ignoring the presence of Turkey in the region as the country with the longest continental coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean will never reach their goals," it said.