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Politics

European Commission VP Borrell: No Change in Turkey’s Attitude

BRUSSELS– The situation regarding Turkey has worsened, stated High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs & Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Josep Borrell after the completion of the Foreign Affairs Council meeting on Monday.

"The ministers believe that we have not yet seen a fundamental shift in Turkey's attitude. On the contrary, in many respects, the situation has worsened," he observed.

He also pointed out that the ministers' assessment "is not positive," while each minister will separately brief the head of his government before the European Council meeting that is scheduled to take place at the end of the current week, he added.

The European Council will assess the situation concerning Turkey and "will take the decision it sees fit," he underlined.

"Besides Greece and Cyprus, all the EU member states know very well that the situation with Turkey must be evaluated very carefully," he insisted.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday called for negotiations over energy exploration rights in the eastern Mediterranean, days ahead of an European Union summit that could impose sanctions on Turkey.

EU leaders are meeting Thursday in Brussels and will address Turkish missions to explore gas reserves in waters claimed by EU members Greece and Cyprus.

“We believe we can solve the problems of the eastern Mediterranean by not excluding each other but by bringing all the actors together around the same table,” Erdogan said in a video message to a university forum on the eastern Mediterranean Sea, a region fraught with tensions this year between rivals Greece and Turkey.

However, he said Turkey would “not accept plans and maps that aim to confine us to the shores of Antalya”, a reference to the maritime boundaries that Turkey says other countries are seeking to impose on it.

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