NEWS

Foreign Policy Council to convene to discuss response to Turkey

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Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias will chair a meeting of the National Foreign Affairs Council on Tuesday to discuss Athens’ response to Turkey’s latest moves in the East Mediterranean.

The meeting is set to take place at 1.30 p.m. following talks at the European Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels, where Dendias requested a formal condemnation of the  controversial maritime borders agreement signed between Ankara and the internationally recognized government in Libya, as well as proposals for sanctions against those two parties if they do not comply with Greek and Cypriot opposition to the deal.

“I explained the Turkish model of violations in the Aegean, in Cyprus and in the Eastern Mediterranean. I asked for express condemnation of these memoranda, for creation of a framework of sanctions if Turkey and the government in Tripoli do not comply, and of course for support of Greece and Cyprus. I also explained in the clearest terms that Greece will do whatever is necessary to defend its sovereignty and sovereign rights,” Dendias said in comments following the meeting in Brussels.

“I must say I was very satisfied that we received broad support from France, Italy, Cyprus and Holland. In fact, the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Di Maio, and I agreed that I should visit Rome in the immediate future so we can coordinate our actions,” he added, in comments published by the Foreign Ministry.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, Josep Borrell, said that it became “very clear from our discussion that this document raises major concerns… that we are currently examining.”

“We expressed our solidarity and our support to Greece and Cyprus and we will continue doing that,” he added, though falling short of condemning the agreement as illegal.