In the runup to the upcoming European Council on December 10-11, German Chancellor Angela Merkel rued during a virtual meeting on Monday of EU parliaments’ European affairs committees that “no progress has been made relations with Turkey” as its moves “are very aggressive or provocative.”
Nonetheless, in what is seen as a move to avoid European Union sanctions, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to deliver a speech on the first day of the summit – announcing reforms in the areas of justice, individual freedoms and freedom of expression.
Meanwhile, following the decision by the leaders of the member-states, EU High Representative Josep Borrell is expected to draw up a list of sectoral sanctions against Turkey, which will be on the table and will be activated in the event that Ankara’s behavior deteriorates in the coming months.
However, even if Ankara were to change its aggressive stance, the possible dialogue with Greece is not expected to start before the new year.
On Monday diplomatic sources denied media reports of a secret meeting between Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and Merkel during the former’s visit to Berlin on November 4.
The same media reports, which also suggested a divergence of views between the Foreign Ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office regarding Greece’s stance at the summit, also claimed that Dendias described Merkel as “naive” in an interview with Politico on Saturday.
However, a diplomatic source dismissed the reports, saying his use of the word “naive” was taken completely out of context and that Dendias never made any characterization of Merkel.
What is certain is that Athens is insisting on the imposition of an arms embargo on Turkey and that this was one of the main reasons behind Dendias’ visit to Germany.