ATHENS – Trying to do a difficult balancing act, Greek Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis jumped on the bandwagon condemning Turkey for going into northern Syria to attack the Kurds, American allies against ISIS abandoned by President Donald Trump.
Mitsotakis also wants the European Union to take a stand against Turkish drilling for energy off Cyprus at the same time he wants the bloc to release more aid to Turkey to prevent that country from flooding Greek islands with more refugees and migrants.
He said the EU should impose further sanctions on Turkey over the invasion as well as over its infringement of Cyprus’ sovereign rights.
“We are calling for an immediate ceasefire,” Mitsotakis said in an interview on Antenna TV, adding that the EU would make a “dynamic intervention” during an Aug. 17 meeting of leaders who so far have issued only soft sanctions over the Cyprus drilling.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been uncowed by the sanctions and is pushing ahead with the Syrian invasion and drilling and said if the EU gets in the way he will release 5.5 million refugees and migrants who had gone to Turkey fleeing war and strife in the Middle East, especially Syria and Afghanistan, and want to get to the EU but wind up on Greek islands.
EU foreign ministers said there should be a restriction on arms exports to Turkey but haven’t moved to make it happen yet as Erdogan continues to get his way.