EU Summit Thriller: Merkel, Macron, Mitsotakis & Anastasiadis meeting as Greece rejects first draft decision

1 October 2020
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The negotiation at the European Summit in Brussels is evolving into a thriller, as Greece rejected the first draft decision that was presented at the negotiating table.

Immediately after the 45-minute break that preceded, a meeting was organized with the participation of Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron, Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Nikos Anastasiadis.

A new text of conclusions is expected to emerge from the meeting of the four, with the participation of both Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel.

The European Summit was an initiative of Greece and Cyprus on the occasion of the ongoing Turkish provocations.

According to information in the first text, there is no report of sanctions in Turkey. Government sources say negotiations are still a long way off.
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis rejected the draft, claiming changes that “more fully reflect Greek positions”, as government sources pointed out.

According to reports, the draft did not mention sanctions, but that “the EU is ready to use all the tools and means at its disposal to ensure the respect and territorial integrity of Greece and Cyprus”, which is not was accepted by the Greek side.

Mitsotakis: The Europeans have the obligation solidarity

Just before the beginning of the Brussels Summit, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis sent a clear and strong message to Turkey.

Mr. Mitsotakis referred to Turkey’s behavior in the Eastern Mediterranean, saying that “the time has come for Europe to discuss with courage and sincerity what kind of relationship it really wants to have with Turkey.

One thing is for sure: Turkey’s provocations, whether manifested through unilateral actions or through extreme rhetoric, can no longer be tolerated. And not only because the Turkish behavior violates the sovereign rights of two EU member states, Greece and Cyprus, but also because this Turkish behavior harms significant geopolitical interests of the whole of Europe in the Mediterranean”.

“Two paths open before us, one is the path of diplomatic dialogue, a dialogue which must be based on respect for international law, the avoidance of unilateral action and the rules of good neighborliness.

The other way is escalating tensions, which will inevitably sooner or later lead to Europe taking action against Turkey. Greece has proved in practice that it wants to follow the first path. It is up to Turkey to do the same, but it must do it consistently and with stability”, the Greek Prime Minister added.
Mitsotakis meeting with Charles Michel

Earlier, Kyriakos Mitsotakis had a meeting with the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, immediately after his arrival in Brussels.

The two leaders agreed that the EU wants a good relationship with Turkey and stability in the region, adding, however, that the EU is willing to use all the tools at its disposal to defend its interests and advance its goals.

During the discussion, the Prime Minister stressed that Greece wants good neighborly relations without tensions in the region, but it is clear, he added, that it is up to Turkey whether it will choose to co-operate or face the consequences of its behavior.

Macron asked for solidarity to Greece & Cyprus

“Solidarity to Greece and Cyprus, and here I want to be absolutely clear, is non-negotiable”, is what the French President Emmanuel Macron stated before the attending the European Summit.

“When a Member State of the European Union is attacked or threatened when its territorial waters are not respected, it is the duty of Europeans to show solidarity. And we will reiterate our support for Greece and Cyprus”, he added.

“For me, these two cases (Greece and Cyprus) are emblematic, of how a strict, but also realistic neighborhood policy should be redesigned by the European Union, which should never compromise on issues of sovereignty, on issues values ​​and law and to seek, with realism and determination, to start a constructive dialogue”, said the French president.

“The draft of the Summit allows us to move clearly towards a Europe that considers itself a geostrategic force, that is rebuilding its industrial and technological independence”, Macron concluded.

Merkel: The relationship with Turkey is complicated, but we want a constructive relationship with it

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as expected, opposed the imposition of sanctions to Turkey when she arrived at the EU summit.

“I will point out that our relationship with Turkey is of course complex and that the European Union shows great interest in developing a truly constructive relationship with it, despite all the difficulties”, Merkel said. “We are partners in NATO and we depend on each other in terms of immigration tactics and the support we provide to Turkey in dealing with the many refugee flows it undertakes to manage”.

Merkel added that “of course we have to resolve the tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean and for me diplomacy plays a prominent role here”.

Kurtz: We must give a clear answer to Turkey

The Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurtz stated that the European Union needed to give a clear response to Turkey’s actions, including sanctions.

“The way Turkey treats journalists, dissidents and opposition politicians is intolerable”, the Austrian chancellor said.

He also accused Ankara of using illegal immigrants as a “weapon” against the EU and of drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, which “violates international law”.

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