EU Foreign Chief Tells Unhearing Turkey to Back Off Greece

BRUSSELS – European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell has jumped into the disputes between Greece and Turkey, telling Turkey to stop provocations and follow the international rule of law.

Borrell said he wanted to show solidarity with Greece, a member of the European Union, after Turkey complained that the bloc’s leaders were unfairly siding with one of its own.

Borrell said the EU wants to work with Turkey – which has been trying fruitlessly to join the bloc since 2005 – but noted that it’s difficult with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan being so intransigent.

The Turkish leader had hinted that military action would be used unless Greece takes troops off Aegean islands near Turkey’s coast and that it would be a cause for war if Greece doubles its maritime boundaries to 12 miles.

Turkey has also been repeatedly sending fighter jets into Greek airspace, sometimes leading to mock dogfights between pilots, and Erdogan said an energy research vessel will be sent into waters around Greek islands.

But the EU has refused to go along with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ call for sanctions, the bloc’s leaders reluctant in fear it will lead to Erdogan sending more refugees and migrants.


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