Turkey says EU Med statement biased, Greece must withdraw ships near Oruc Reis


Turkey slammed a statement by European Union Mediterranean states on Friday, saying the comments were biased and “detached from reality,” but added that Ankara was still open to unconditional talks with Greece.

NATO members Turkey and Greece have overlapping claims to continental shelves and rights to potential energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean. In a joint statement on Thursday, the seven EU Mediterranean states said the bloc will draw up a list of new sanctions on Turkey at the end of September unless Ankara negotiates to resolve the dispute with Greece and Cyprus.

Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a statement that Greece needed to “unconditionally sit at the negotiating table with Turkey” in order to achieve dialogue and cooperation in the region, adding Athens needed to withdraw its military ships from around Turkey’s Oruc Reis survey vessel in order to de-escalate tensions. [Reuters]