FM Dendias: "Consensus Reached on Further Measures If Turkey Continues Delinquent Attitude"


FILE- FM Dendias as he arrives for a meeting of EU foreign ministers at the European Council building in Brussels, Monday, July 13, 2020. (Photo by Eurokinissi/ Haris Akriviadis)

BRUSSELS -- Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias on Monday said that "at the request of Greece, a broad consensus was reached to proceed with a list of further measures if Turkey continues its delinquent attitude," speaking after the end of the EU Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) meeting in Brussels on Monday.

He also stated that "the escalation of Turkish delinquency and authoritarianism was at the center of our discussion and there was strong condemnation of the issue of Turkey's conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque. Turkey has even been asked to reconsider and reverse its decision," the minister noted.

At the FAC meeting, the minister said he spoke about "the serious implications of Turkish delinquency on security and stability in the eastern Mediterranean, and how Greece's partners expressed solidarity with both Greece and Cyprus "against illegal Turkish actions, which are carried out to the detriment of our sovereignty and sovereign rights," he stressed.

"At our request," Dendias said, "there was a broad consensus on a list of appropriate further measures, namely sanctions, that would allow the EU to respond effectively if Turkey proceeded with its delinquent behaviour."

Dendias attended the FAC together with his Cypriot counterpart Nicos Christodoulides, and met with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, on the sidelines of the meeting.

With Borell, Greece agreed that he should explore ways to reduce tensions with Turkey, "but strictly on the basis of the Council's conclusions," Dendias underlined.

Turkey's provocations will be discussed at the informal FAC meeting in August in Berlin and not at the regular FAC in September as originally planned, said the minister, before revealing that he will call for the convening of an extraordinary Council meeting if Turkey escalates its behaviour by the time the informal FAC meeting convenes.

The minister noted that the meeting also discussed reports from a number of countries, including Greece, of the violation of the arms embargo by Turkey in Libya, and that the country was directly called upon to stop violating it, he concluded.