EU Commission Chief Says Turkish Situation “Worsening”
Josep Borrell, the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, said on Monday that the situation regarding Turkey has not only not improved, it has actually worsened.
His remarks came after the completion of the European Union’s Foreign Affairs Council meeting on Monday afternoon.
“The ministers believe that we have not yet seen a fundamental shift in Turkey’s attitude. On the contrary, in many respects, the situation has worsened,” he observed.
Borrell also pointed out that the Ministers’ assessment “is not positive,” while each Minister will separately brief the head of his government before the European Council meeting that is scheduled to take place at the end of the current week, he added.
The European Council will assess the situation concerning Turkey and “will take the decision it sees fit,” he told reporters.
“Besides Greece and Cyprus, all the EU member states know very well that the situation with Turkey must be evaluated very carefully,” Borrell added.
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias also had harsh words for the neighboring country on Monday in statements made on the sidelines of the EU Foreign Affairs Council.
Turkey’s stance is a provocation directed at all of the European Union, the Foreign Minister stated.
“There must be a reaction to Turkey”
“It was made clear that there must be reaction to Turkey,” Dendias said.
“There was an in-depth discussion on Turkish illegality at the meeting and all Foreign Ministers confirmed that Turkey had not understood the EU’s positive message at the October summit.
“On the contrary, it continued its illegal behavior and, in fact, under a completely unacceptable framework, its threat of war in the case that Greece extends its territorial waters to 12 nautical miles,” Dendias explained.
“I note here that UNCLOS, the agreement that allows the extension of national territorial waters to 12 miles, is a part of European Law and has been ratified by the European Union. So, Turkey’s stance is a provocation for all of Europe.
“From that point it was made clear that there must be reaction to Turkey, which is something that will be discussed at the European Council this week,” Dendias concluded.