The president of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, regretted this Wednesday that the European Union and Turkey are moving away due to the open crisis in the Mediterranean, unleashed by Turkish oil exploration in waters whose jurisdiction Greece and Cyprus claim.
During the speech on the State of the Union that took place at the Brussels headquarters of the European Parliament, the German conservative pointed out that Cyprus and Greece can always count on the “total solidarity” of Europe when it comes to protecting their sovereignty.
“Turkey is and will always be an important neighbor. But while we are very close on the map, the distance between us seems to be growing,” the head of the Community Executive assured MEPs, in the part of her speech dedicated to foreign affairs of the EU.
Although she stressed that Turkey is an actor operating in a troubled region and currently hosting millions of refugees, Von der Leyen has insisted that nothing justifies “her attempts to intimidate her neighbors.”
For all these reasons, she has considered that it is necessary to create space for dialogue and that “the only way out” to the crisis is to sit around a table. “It is the only way to stability and a lasting solution,” she stressed.
Currently, European diplomacy maintains contacts with the main actors to reduce military tension in the area and Germany is leading the efforts for Ankara and Athens to discuss their maritime differences at a dialogue table.
Along the same lines, Von der Leyen has defended that appeasing hostilities in the Mediterranean is a matter of “mutual interest” for the EU and Turkey and, in this sense, has valued as a positive step that the research vessel ‘Oruc Reis ‘has withdrawn from the waters that are in dispute.