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Mitsotakis in Brussels: "Turkey Remains Consistent in Its Aggressive Behavior"

Αssociated Press

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis arrives for an EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020. (Olivier Hoslet, Pool via AP)

BRUSSELS -- Turkey's most recent provocative and illegal actions will be discussed at the European Council meeting on Friday, said Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in doorstep statements on Thursday, the opening day.

The Greek Premier stressed that "unfortunately Turkey seems to remain consistent in its provocative and aggressive behavior. The same consistency must be shown by the EU as well in implementing the decisions it has already taken."

He explained that Turkey's activity in the Eastern Mediterranean was not originally included in the two-day meeting's agenda, but after a consultation with the president of the European Council, Charles Michel, the issue was added on the list of topics.

"The planned agenda was primarily about Brexit and climate change," he explained, but current events have made imperative the addition of other issues, such as the second wave of the coronavirus pandemic Europe is facing.

Referring to Friday's session of the European Council, the Greek premier said that he will "have the opportunity to brief (his) colleagues on Turkey's new provocations against Greece and Cyprus with the recent dispatch of the Oruc Reis within the Greek continental shelf, as well as the unacceptable violation of the UN Security Council's decisions on Varosha in Cyprus."

Earlier on Thursday at the European People's Party (EPP) summit, also in Brussels, Mitsotakis raised the issue of Turkey's new illegal NAVTEX for research south of Kastelorizo island and the Greek continental shelf, government sources said, adding that summit participants expressed their full support of Greece.

In addition, EPP President Donald Tusk stressed that limits must be set to Turkey's provocative attitude, sources noted.

France and Germany warn Turkey to stop provocations in East Mediterranean

Turkey will need to stop its provocative actions in the East Mediterranean, France and Germany said, giving it a week to clarify its positions, according to a Reuters report on Thursday.

As the two-day European Council prepared to open its session, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in a joint press conference with his German and Polish counterparts that Turkey's provocative acts are "unacceptable".

Reflecting the same stance, German FM Heiko Maas said that dispatching the "Oruc Reis" research ship back to the East Mediterranean was "inadmissible", Reuters said, adding that the ministers would wait for a week before deciding how to react.

European Union leaders are meeting in person for a two-day summit amid the worsening coronavirus pandemic to discuss topics ranging from Brexit to climate and relations with Africa. 

(ANA-MPA/ E. Zarkadoula)