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EU foreign ministers agree to work on further Turkey sanctions, says Borrell

eu-foreign-ministers-agree-to-work-on-further-turkey-sanctions-says-borrell

European Union foreign ministers meeting in Berlin have agreed, “in the absence of “progress with Turkey,” to develop a list of further sanctions against the country over its recent activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Commission’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said on Friday.

“We are clear and determined in defending European Union interests, in solidarity with Greece and Cyprus. Turkey has to abstain from unilateral actions. This is a basic element to allow dialogue to advance,” Borrell told a press conference following the informal meeting of EU foreign ministers.

“For this reason, we must walk a fine line between preserving a true space for dialogue and at the same time showing collective strength in the defense of our common interests,” he added, saying that there is “growing frustration in the face of Turkey’s behavior.”

Borrell said that the council will seek to add the names of individuals recommended by Cyprus to face sanctions over what he described as Turkey’s “illegal drilling” in the Eastern Mediterranean, “with a view of rapid adoption.”

“We also agreed that in the absence of progress with Turkey, we could develop a list of further restrictive measures that could be discussed at the European Council next September 24,” Borrell said.

The EU official had earlier said that he would begin compiling a list of possible sanctions against individuals that could also be expanded to include Turkish assets and ships, as well as restricting Turkish access to European ports and supplies.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who has been trying to mediate a thaw between Greece and Turkey in recent weeks, also said that additional sanctions need to be discussed at the European summit in September.