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Home arrow newsitems arrow MED7 Summit call: Reply to Turkey Aggression in the Mediterranean with All Means available to the EU

MED7 Summit call: Reply to Turkey Aggression in the Mediterranean with All Means available to the EU

Written by ACM
Thursday, 10 September 2020

 
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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- A Key Heads of State/Government Summit with All 7 Mediterranean European Countries, Hosted by French President Emmanuel Macron at the Island of Corsica, Historic BirthPlace of Napoleon Bonaparte, Calls to "Reply to Turkey's Aggressive acts with All adequate Measures available to the EU", after Ankara's recent Illegal Drillings in EU Members Greece and Cyprus' EEZ, closely Followed by WarShips' and Military Planes' Threats, concerning Energy Resources of Eastern Mediterranean which are of Strategic Importance for Europe, Arms' Smuggling and Military Interference in Libya, added to Provocations against All involved, even EU in general.   

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 - The Leaders of France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus and Malta, in a "Joint Declaration",  Confirmed their "Full Support and integral Solidarity" with FrontLine EU Members "Cyprus and Greece, Facing the Repeated Infringements to their Sovereignity and Sovereign Rights, as Also the Aggressive Measures taken by Turkey".

+ In this regard, they "Ask ... to Respect International Law, Particularly the International Law of the Sea, Ecouraging... to Settle Differences via Dialogue and Negotiation". "Saluting the Mediation Efforts" of EU's "High Representative and Vice President" of the EU, Josep Borrel, "as well as of Germany", with Chancellor Angie Merkel, "Aiming to allow a Resumption of Dialogue between Greece and Turkey, on the Issue of Maritime Zones", the 7 Meditteranean EU Countries, Also "Welcome Favorably the Invitation, by the Goverment of Cyprus, to Negotiate with Turkey, by observing that the Delimitation of Exclusive Economic Zones and of the Continental Shelf Must be treated via Good Faith Dialogue and Negotiation, in Full Respect of International Law, and according  to the Principle of Good Neighborhood Relations".

- However, "at the Aftermath of the Recent Conclusions by the European Council" during 2019-2020, (See, f.ex.: ..., etc), the 7 Key EU Countries "Regret that Turkey has Not Responded to EU's Repeated Calls to End its Unilateral et illegal Acts in Eastern Mediterranean and to the Aegean Sea". In Consequence, they "Confirm" their "Determination to Use All adequate Means at EU's Disposal, in order to Reply to these Aggressive Actions". In this regard, (and "Following the Last Informal ["Gymnich"] Meeting of EU's Foreign Ministers" in Berlin), they "Agree to Accelerate the  work concerning Supplementary Iscriptions at the List of Sanctions, Already at the Table, in view of their Rapid Adoption", and they Warn that, Moreover, "If Turkey makes No Progress on the road to Dialogue, and does Not put an End to its Unilateral Acts, (then), the EU is Ready to dress a List of Supplementary Restrictive Measures, that could be discussed at the European Council of 24-25 September 2020".

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  + Advancing well Beyond a clear "Support to Greece and Cyprus" EU Countries, with "Solidarity ...Facing the Unilateral Provocations, illegal Drillings, and Moves Threatening the Sovereignity of European States", Macron stressed, in a collective Press Conference, the need "to Make (Turkey) Respect the European Sovereignity, the International Law, and ease Desescalation".

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The move was partly Prepared, Also, "during This Summer", in "a Common Agenda, Together with the German Chancellor", Angie Merkel, (who currently Chairs the EU, until December 2020, and Recently Visited Macron at Bergancon Castle, at the end of August, in the Middlle of the Northern Mediterranean Coast), he revealed.

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- EU "Wants to engage in a Responsible Dialogue" with Turkey, withOut Ignoring its "Difficulty", "Neither being Naive", "But Requiring that Principles are Respected". "Because No Dialogue is possible if it is based on Abandoning Sovereignity, or a Guilty Weekness", the French President Warned.

 

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=> Therefore, in order "to restore Normal Relations, allowing Stability, with Turkey", there Must be "a Stop of Unilateral Actions, ...Obviousy the End of (illegal) Drillings, a Full Respect of the (International) Embargo on Arms for all Powers at Libya's area, and to Accept that Existing DisAgreements ... would be Settled by Negotiations, and in front of International Instances, concerning Legal Debates", he underlined.

+ Speaking, in Wider terms, "25 Years after the Barcelona Declaration" and "more than 10 Years since the Creation of the Union for the Mediterranean", as Today's "MED-7" Joint Declaration Reminds, (Comp. "Eurofora" Co-Founder's NewsReports, from Paris' 7/2008 Summit at the "Grand Palais", organized by former President and then EU-Chair Sarkozy, Published +at "Cyprus Weekly". Comp. also: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eu2013marseillecultureorbarbary.html,  etc), the French President, Also Stressed that, "Our Responsibility, as EU Member States and Mediterranean States, is to Find Ways and Means", Nowadays, "for a Constructive Policy in the Mediterranean, to Build that "Pax Mediterranea" for Us All, which Will Allow Harmonious Exchanges, while, at the same time, making Respect the European Sovereignity in the Region".


=> In this regard, Macron spoke also of "a Positive Euro-Mediterranean Agenda, ..of Cooperation between the 2 Shores of the Mediterranean", concerning "Knowledge, ... Energy, BioDiversty and Climate", particularly "in areas of Health, Education, Training, University, Culture and Heritage", etc., "as well as the Big Regional Issues", such as "Liban, Syria, etc".  While the MED-7's "Joint Declaration" adds "Cyprus" and the "Middle-East", but also "Sahel" and the "Fight Against Terrorism" or "Human Trafficking", in Parallel with "the Aim to Renovate the Meridional Partnership", mainly "by Strengthening the Union for the Mediterranean, and the Dialogue 5+5", "Focused on Developing Concrete Cooperations on Joint Interest Issues, defined Together with Our Southern Partners : Reforms and Democratic Governance, as well as Civil Society Resilience, Climate and Environment, with Ecological Transition, Trade and Investemnts, with Energy, Culture and Heritage Protection, Migration and Mobility, Youth autonomisation and Digital program", etc., and "Particularly the Access to Natural Resources and their Sustainable Management".  In this regard are Citted, f.ex., Events such as "the 1 Planet Summit at Marseille, on January 2021", "the Union for the Mediteranean's Ministerial Conference on sustainable Blue Economy, Later that same year", the "Boost" of Earth Observation, Space "services Copernicus" (EU), "working Together with Our Southern Partners", the "West Med. Initiative, for the ...Blue Economy in Western Mediterranean", "the COP26 and CCNUCC with Associated Events organized in Italy", as well as "the Heads of State/Government Meeting in Greece ... on Cultural and Natural Heritage's Protection from Clmate Change effects", etc

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++ Concerning "the Issue of Stability in Eastern Mediterranean and Turkey's role", "for the Escalation of Tension, the Provocative Behaviors, the way that Turkey Contests the Sovereign Rights of 2 EU Member States, even Persisting to illegaly Occupy Territories of one of them : Cyprus", "while it Openly, now, Leaves Away from Any Effort of Sincere Concertation", "the Results of (this) 7th Summit of (EU's) Southern Countries, Send, Today, a very Clear Mesage", stressed embattled Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, (who is due to Host the Next "MD-7" Summit, in Creta Island, on 2021 - Comp. Mitsotakis' Replies to "Eurofora" Questions in European Summits at Brussels, Austria, etc. f.ex. at : ... + ..., etc) :

- In particular, MED-7 Summit's Joint Declaration "Show(s) to Turkey the Road" to take. If Turkey really Wants a Sincere Dialogue with Greece, Cyprus, and the EU, it Must Prove it in Practice. By Stopping Immediately Unilateral Actions, Giving Credible Indications that it Respects, WithOut Exceptions and Not Selectively, the International Rules". "As far as we are concerned, what we've alrady said before, is still valid : I.e., - "End of Provocations, and Start of Dicussions !", he resumed, inviting.  

- "Mediterranean is a Vital Area for European Security in general", which "canNot be Left to Third Parties", since "it's about "Mare Nostrum", Our own Sea, the European Sea, as President Macron has also said", Mitsotakis stressed, as a matter of General Principle. So that, "Support to Greece and Cyprus is Not merely an expressiion of Solidarity", But Also "the Recognition of the Fact that, here, there are Strategic Interests for Europe itself at Stake !", the EU's FrontLiner rightfully pointed out, (Referring, [on this well-known "Eurofora"s stance : inter alia, See, f.ex., also  ... + ..., etc] to Interviews he's Just Published at 3 Big European Newspapers : "Times", "FAZ", and "Le Monde", in the UK, Germany and France, respectively).

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- "There is a Clear Choice",  he said at these Interviews : - "Turkey can Cooperate, and Find a Common Ground, or it can Persist Behaving as an Aggressor, Playing Games for Show off at Europe's Outer surroundings, so that it will Pay an Important Economic Price for that Behavior. It can Choose Whether Greece will be Bridge or Obstacle to Partnership (with the EU) and Progress", he Warned, (Reminding, also, that Eleftherios Venizelos, former Greek Prime Minister, who had Signed a Peace Treaty with Attaturk, Back on 1930, was an Oncle of his Father). ... "If Turkey chose the Bridge, I think that President Erdogan would have a Chance to get an Ambitious, Long-Term Agreement with the EU, for the Interest of All". ..."The Solution is Simple : - "We Sit down. We Discuss our Different. And Try to Reach a Deal. If we doN't manage to do it, then, we let the International Court (of Hague) to Judge", he proposed. "When Berlin offered to Mediate, we ...managed even to reach a "Written Agreement". But, the Result was for Turkey to Finaly Withdraw, Revealing Informal, Secret Talks". So that "the Hopes that I Still have for a Dialogue, do Not Hide the Realities : We Need Dialogue, But Not Under Blackmail !", he stressed.

- "Lately, Turkey looks Less as a Partner, But as a Provocator". F.ex., "at the End of Last Year (2019), President Erdogan signed a n illegal Deal of Delimitation of Maritime Borders with one of the 2 Sides at the Bloody Civil War in Libya. Given that Turkey and Libya have No Adjacent SeaCoasts, that Deal was declared Null from the Greatest part of the International Community, ...and was considered as Violating Sovereign Rights of 3rd Countries, including Greece", (for Not Taking into Account its Islands, including Creta, etc). On March (2020) Turkey ...Incited and Facilitated Attempts of Desperate Migrants to Tresspass Greek Borders" (at Evros' River), "that we Defended, with the Support of Our EU Partners", since "Greece's Borders are also EU's Borders". ... "This Summer (2020), Reacting to the Signature of a Long-Term, Legal, and Internationaly Recognized Agreement for the Delimitatio of Sea Borders between Greece an Egypt, (Turkish) President Erdogan send his Military Navy to Back an Attempt to Search Gas in an Area of Eastern Mediterranean where Both Greece and Turkey Revendicate Rights, and has Not Yet been Delimitated. According to UNO's Treaty on Maritime Law, this was an Unilateral Action, Violating International Law", he Criticized. So that, "an Initially Unpleasant Policy of Impressions, UnDeniably Evolved into a Threatening stance, during the Last Weeks : Every Day, the Turkish Government presents a New False Claim or circulates a New Lie. Warlike Wording, Nationalist Propaganda, Aggressive Militarism, Purchase of Russian Arm Systems which are a Threat for NATO, Transformation of World Heritage (UNESCO) Monuments into Mosque, illegal Maritime Activities, and Threats of War", he Denounced.

=> Today, "Our (EU's) Neighbouring Country, Turkey, has Still Time, Before the (forthcoming, September 24-25 EU's Brussels) Summit, to make a Step, and Trace itself the Road Out of this Crisis", he stressed at the MED-7 Press Conference : - "By Droping Naval and (Oil/Gas) Research in UnChartered (Not yet DeLimitated) Maritime Zones.  By withHolding Aggressive Rhetorics. By Returning Back to the Table of Exploratory Talks, concerning Relations with Greece, from where it (Ankara) Left on 2016. And if we caN't Agree, as (French) President Macron said, there is, Always, the Solution of Hague, that of the International Court", Mitsotakis pointed out.

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+++ Indeed, Referring to "the Obvious Risks of Peace and Security Disruption in the Mediterranean, as a Result of Escalating and Internationaly Condemned (Both by EU and USA, Russia, etc), EU's Eastern Mediterranean Strategic Island, Cyprus' President Nicos Anastassiades, (the Previous Host of "MED-7" Summit at Nicosia on 2019 -  Comp. Anastassiades' Replies to "Eurofora" Questions, f.ex, at : ..., in the CoE in Strasbourg, etc), Reminded "particularly, the Efforts that we make, through Internationaly Recognized Procedures, to Avoid the Danger of a Catastrophic Conflict, which will Affect Not Only the Involved Countries, But also the Wider Region, and even EU's Cohesion", since "it's well Known that Cyprus' and Greece's Borders aren't but Borders of te EU too", as he Warned.

- "Saluting the Unanimous Stance taken by All (EU MED-7) Leaders, and their Resolve, as it's expressed in Today's "Joint Declaration", for the Need to put an End to the UnLawful Acts of Ankara in Cyprus' and Greece's EEZ", (Comp. Supra), Anastassiades pointed at the "DIscussed and Agreed Need for a Common (EU) Strategy and Measures, since it's UnDeniable that those Activities of Ankara constitute a Violation of International Law, and of the Law of Sea, going Against the Sovereignity of 2 EU Members, and of the EU itself".

=> That's why, "with the Joint Declaration, We (EU-MED-7 Leaders) Agreed that we'll Use All Means at EU's disposal, in order to Face the Turkish D; Delinquency, Including, (even if we'd like not to have to do that), Additional Sanctions, against All those Involved into those illegal activities (by Ankara) in Cyprus, as well as that the Issue of EU-Turkey Relations, will be Further Discussed at the forthcoming European Council", (24-35/9.2020).

-  "Cyprus repeatedly Called Ankara to Respect the International Law and advance towards Negotiations for the Delimitation of Maritime Zones Between us (Turkey and EU Member Cyprus), Or, if they refuse, to Submit the whole Issue at the International Court of Hague", Anastassiades pointed out.  

=> - In Consequence, there is a "Need for a Unified, Consequent and Strong Reaction to the Turkish Provocations, If they doN't Respect the Initiatives of European Leaders (for Dialogue : Comp. Supra), Neither Abide by International Law", he Urged.    

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- "At the Same time", Anastassiades spoke at this MED-7 Summit "about the Efforts undertaken to ReStart Talks for a Comprehensive Solution of the Cyprus' Issue, in order to put an End to (the Foreign Turkish Military) Occupation, and to the Unacceptable Status Quo", "Stressing that Only the ReUnification" of the Island "would Create cricumstances for Full Security and Prosperity for All Cypriots, Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots, as well as greatly Contribute to establish Peace in the Wider Region".

- And he Welcomed the "Intention of Leaders of EU's Meditteranean Countries to use their Relations and Exert their Influence on Turkey, so that it would Understand that it must put an End to illegal actions, and Cooperate, through a Sincere and Comprehensive Dalogue, always Based on International Law, in order to Find Solutions which Will give Prosperity to our People", as he concluded.

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++++ For Italian Prime Minister Conte, "Tensions in Eastern Mediterranean are Harting Us (EU) All", and "We Must Do Everything to Alleviate them". "There are Growing Concerns, But we must Set up a Positive Spiral of Dialogue for a Shared Solution".

- "However, the 1st thing to do is to express Our strong Solidarity, a Concrete Solidarity, with Our (MED-7) Friends of (EU Members) Cyprus and Greece, who Face the Unilateral Actions of Turkey", "We will Always do that", he Vowed

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+++++ Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Santcez, stressed that, "Certainly, we (MED-7) Must show Support to 2 EU Member States", (since) We Belong to the EU, and Share a lot of Pressure, (and) Hardships that they Face, Because of Turkey's Acts".

- In this direction, "the Message is "Dialogue", he pointed out, referring to EU's "High Representative" (Borrel, from Spain). the EU Council's President (Michel, of Belgium), and the (EU) Presidency by Germany (Chancelor Angie Merkel)".

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++++++ Portugal's Prime Minister, Antonio Costa, urged for Full Solidarity with Greece and Cyprus, and underlined the Importance of Michel and Borrel's initiatives, in order to take the Right Decisions at the forthcoming EU Summit of 24-25/9/2020, so that this Support would be not Only Theoretical;, But Also In Actu.

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+++++++ New Maltese Prime Minister, Robert Abela, referring to Turkey's illegal acts, expressed Solidarity to Cyprus and Greece, adding that "We closely Follow the Developments in Eastern Mediterranean, and Realize how Delicate is the Situation at this moment". ..."The Territorial Integrity and the Sovereign Rights of Each Country, Must be Preserved, according to International Law", he stressed. Particularly because "Peace, Security and Stability in Eastern Mediterranean is in the Interest of Us All, of All European Partners, and of the Overall Mediterranean Region". For that purpose, "Dialogue Must Prevail".

 

(../..)

 

("Draft-News")

 

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Swedish Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt, speaking  to "EuroFora", denied rumors on Turkey's attempts to avoid an EU check of its obligations on Cyprus on December 2009 by blackmailing Nicosia to either accept any deal with intransigeant Turkish claims contrary to EU values on the island's political issue, or face threats against the territorial integriy of the EU island, semi-occupied by Ankara's army.

On the contrary, the incoming EU President-in-office, speaking exclusively to "EuroFora", promissed that he will act for EU Council's decisions on December 2009 assessment of Turkey's commitments on Cyprus to be kept.


    Bildt was asked to react to Cyprus' President Christofias' denunciation, earlier this week, that some want to exert "pressure" on Cyprus in order for Turkey to escape from its obligations.

    Avoiding to mention any precise Deadline, Bildt, however, warned about "Consequences" in case of "failure" to reunite Cyprus, but without saying whose responsibility an eventual deadlock might be.  

 Asked by "EuroFora" if there is a risk for "Turkey's commitments to "be forgotten or downgraded", "despite crystal-clear EU Council decisions and EU Parliament's latest Resolution on the assessment to make at the end of this year on Turkey's obligations", according to rumours that, instead of pressing Turkey, on the contrary, there might be "pressure on Cyprus", even "blackmail", as Media reported and President Christofias denounced this week, Bildt denied :

- "No ! ", he clearly replied.


- On the contrary, invited by "EuroFora", to "reassure that the Swedish EU Presidency (7-12/2009) will keep a fair stance, based on principles",  Bildt promised that "we (Swedish EU Presidency) will be very clear on all of the decisions taken by the (EU) Council".

He added, however, that "we have very numerous decisions that have been taken" by EU Council, as if he warned, also, on something else.

- "'I am not aware of any sort of statements coming out today''", Bildt started to say, on our reference to Cyprus' President Christofias" denunciation of Turkish lobby's manoeuvers this week, replying earlier to 'another"EuroFora"'s question during a Press Conference at EU Parliament in Strasbourg.


 - '"I know the issues that you' are concerned with'", he added, remembering  the statements he gave us when Sweden was chairing the PanEuropean CoE on 2008.

- "But, obviously, .. I think that Cyprus' Peace negotiations are extremenly important".

- And "'I think that we are at a unique moment in History, in the sens that both (Cyprus') President Christofias and Mr. Talat (the Turkish Cypriot leader), are personally convinced of the need to overcome the division".

 - "It's 20 Years since the fall of Berlin Wal, but we still have a Capital in Europe (Nicosia) that's divided". ,

- 'I don't that we should loose any time in overcoming that"..

 - ''We should be aware of the fact that success will bring great benefits, but failure, will also have major consequences. There will not be Status Quo' " It's a question of seeking a solution, or entering another situation, which is somewhat difficult to see exactly how that could evolve", he warned.

- "That being said, this is a negotiation for Cyprus itself", Bildt admitted.

 - ''We (EU) can support, the (EU) Commission primarily, be technically helpful, and then, of course, there is a specific role for the UN, when it comes to the Cyprus' situation".  

- "At least so far. It might not be for ever'. Certainly not for ever, but for this period of time", Bildt added, skiping now any reference to concrete threats on UNO's Peace keeping force in face of more than 40.000 Ankara's soldiers, contrary to some Press claims, (See previous NewsReports).


     Replying to another "EuroFora"'s Question,  if anyone might attempt to "impose a Deadline for the conclusion" of Cyprus' Talks on December 2009, Bildt avoided to speak of any precise Time-frame, and indirectly evoked the fact that  35 Years of Turkish Invasion/Occupation obviously durated too long :

'- "If I was from Cyprus, I would say that the Deadline was Yesterday ! '",
Bildt concluded.

Cyprus' Government Spokesman, Stephanou, reportedly pointed out that "a settlement is possible on December if Turkey changes its stance", accepting a solution for the reunification of the island based on UNO resolutiona and EU principles.

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Earlier, EU Chair, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeld, highlighted an "historic opportunity" to "re-Unite" Cyprus according to EU's "basic Values"' (i.e. Human Rights) and 'Rules'", in a last-minute change of his draft speech to EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

    The initial Draft spoke only about "healing" the island.

    Significantly, Reinfeldt linked Cyprus' reunification with Turkey's obligations to respect EU's "Values" and "follow" EU's "common Rules" :

    - What is "called Membership Negotiations" should lead, "at- the end of the day", into "sharing a set of common Basic Values (i.e. Human Rights, Democracy, etc), and following common Rules", stressed Reinfeld from the outset.
    
    - "This is something that those on the Outside (of the EU), are now  contemplating", up "to Ankara", for "a solution" on "Cyprus", observed the EU Chairman, immediately afterwards..  

    - "Both sides of Cyprus have been granted a historic opportunity to together reach an agreement on a solution to re-Unite the island, that has been divided for far too long", said Reinfeldt, modifying his draft text.


-  "The Swedish Presidency will act ...in accordance with Commitments EU has made, on the basis of Criteria that apply", "as a Honest Broker", he promised.    

- "To those on the inside (of the EU), allowing the membership process to become an opportunity to solve protracted disputes, can be tempting", he added.


    "In such cases, we must find solutions that can benefit both sides, and open up a way forward. Otherwise, it would jeopardize the progress we have made towards EU integration", Reinfeldt said.

***

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