Ankara claims Greece putting up ‘obstacles’

Ankara claims Greece putting up ‘obstacles’

In what is viewed in Athens as yet another rant, Turkey slammed Greece on Thursday for not participating in the scheduled meeting of the Greek-Turkish military committees under NATO auspices, claiming it is raising “obstacles" to efforts to secure a safe environment in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Citing sources at the Turkish Defense Ministry, the state-run Anadolu agency said the Greek delegation did not attend the meeting which was scheduled to take place on November 30, while Turkish media reports claim that “Greece is avoiding de-escalation.”

Meanwhile, and ahead of next week’s European Council which is expected to discuss the possibility of sanctions against Turkey over its transgressions in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu continued his almost daily denunciations of Greece and Cyprus, blaming both countries for regional tensions.

In a statement to the Antalya Diplomacy Forum, Cavusoglu said that just hours before Greece and Turkey announced the start of their exploratory contacts in August, Greece signed a maritime border demarcation agreement with Egypt, “violating both the Turkish and the Libyan continental shelf.” He also lashed out against Greece’s stance at the EU Summit in October, over what he said were Greek threats against Turkey.

“Whenever Turkey gives a chance to diplomacy, in response it receives threats and provocations,” he said, adding that in this way the Greek government believes it can get away with an “aggressive and abusive strategy.”

Meanwhile, Manfred Weber, leader of the European People’s Party in the European Parliament, has called on EU leaders to put sanctions against Turkey on the table at the next summit and not to be “fooled” by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s claims he wants a candid dialogue.

“We have to say enough is enough and put sanctions on the table. The list of provocations is long enough,” he said in a tweet.

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