The leaders of Greece, Cyprus, France and Germany were meeting with European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen late Thursday in a bid to reach a compromise on the conclusions of an EU summit in Brussels regarding Turkey.
According to sources, Greek officials insist that a reference to a prospective talks between Athens and Ankara must be coupled with a warning that sanctions will be imposed against Turkey should it fail to take active steps toward a de-escalation of tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is against the idea of including a reference to possible sanctions, also on the grounds of NATO’s announcement earlier in the day that Greece and Turkey have set up a mechanism (so-called deconfliction mechanism) to avoid accidental clashes in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Athens and Nicosia rejected a first draft that circulated at 6 p.m. local time. The Greek side requested several modifications so that the text would “more fully reflect Greek positions,” a government source said.
Speaking on state broadcaster ERT1, government spokesman Stelios Petsas said that Athens had rejected the draft because “it was not balanced.”