Buoyed by the European Council’s statement of solidarity on Friday to Athens and Nicosia regarding Turkey’s behavior in the Eastern Mediterranean, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that Greece’s sovereign rights will not be compromised if Ankara seeks to use the migrant issue as leverage.
Speaking in Brussels after the European Council’s declaration condemning the Ankara-Tripoli maritime border deal, Mitsotakis said that if there are negative consequences for the migrant issue due to “blackmail” by Turkey over the accord, then “Greece will not make the slightest compromise on these matters.”
Hailing the “full support” that he received from his European counterparts at the council, Mitsotakis said that his government will continue to defend Greece’s rights “in any way that is appropriate,” noting that Turkey is “irritated” because it is “desperately isolated after signing its memorandum of understanding with Libya.”
He also singled out the support given to Greece by French President Emmanuel Macron.
The French leader told a news conference in Brussels on Friday that, “as I did at the NATO summit, we expressed yesterday our full solidarity with Cyprus and Greece given the Turkish provocation in the Eastern Mediterranean.”
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias also lauded the EC statement, saying, “The country is extremely satisfied.”
Meanwhile, despite the European Council’s condemnation of the MoU between Tripoli and Ankara, Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez announced on Friday that Turkey will soon conduct seismic research within sea zones included in the accord.
Donmez reportedly told the Turkish Parliament that the agreement with Libya has become the “law of the land” after being ratified by lawmakers earlier this month and that his ministry is working on delineating blocks where seismic surveys will be carried out “immediately after New Year’s.”
“Have no doubt that we will do what must be done,” he reportedly said.