GREECE & TURKEY

EU Commission should take carrot-and-stick approach to Turkey, Athens says

eu-commission-should-take-carrot-and-stick-approach-to-turkey-athens-says

A report expected by the European Commission on Turkey should take a carrot-and-stick approach, a spokesman for the Greek Foreign Ministry said on Thursday.

“We are expecting the reports of the EU High Representative and the European Commission on Turkey, which should be sent to the member-states within the comings days. Our position is for a two-fold approach: on the one hand to be open to the possibility of examining the points of a positive agenda with Turkey but on the strict condition that Turkey will comply with the commitments it has made,” said Alexandros Papaioannou.

His comments came as Reuters reported that the European Union has frozen plans to impose additional sanctions over Turkeys illegal hydrocarbon explorations in the eastern Mediterranean. Sources quoted by Reuters also said that “a report on relations with Turkey commissioned by EU leaders that was originally expected to list the disagreements over energy, human rights and migration, will now be neutral in tone.”

On the subject of the exploratory talks held between Greece and Turkey in Athens earlier this week, Papaioannou indicated that while the climate was “good,” there were no significant breakthroughs. 

“Every side has its own views. It is an exchange of views not a negotiation. Our positions are known and fixed,” he said.

The Foreign Ministry spokesman also said that it “too early” to say whether a meeting may take place between Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, saying that the “necessary conditions” so far exist for a meeting at the foreign ministers’ level.

Greece’s Nikos Dendias and Turkey’s Mevlut Cavusoglu are expected to meet on April 14, though Athens has stressed that such a meeting can only take place if the “climate is right.”