UPDATE 1 – Frenchman Macron wants EU action and sanctions for Mediterranean violations – Agricultural products

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(Add quotes, details)PARIS, July 23 (Reuters) – The French president said on Thursday that it would be a grave mistake for the European Union not to respond to provocations in the Eastern Mediterranean and said he wanted more sanctions against those who violate the Greek and Cypriot maritime space.

Emmanuel Macron’s comments come after the Turkish Navy on Tuesday issued a notice for seismic surveys in a maritime area between Cyprus and Crete, a move Greece has called Ankara’s attempt to encroach on its continental shelf.

“In this part of the Mediterranean, vital for our two countries, energy and security issues are essential. What is at stake is a struggle for power in particular Turkey and Russia which are asserting themselves more and more and in the face of which the EU is still doing too little, “Macron told reporters alongside his Cypriot counterpart Nicos Anastasiades.

“It would be a serious mistake to leave our security in the Mediterranean in the hands of other actors. It is not an option for Europe and it is not something France will let happen. ”

The European Union has already imposed sanctions on Turkey for its drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, but Macron said more sanctions would be needed to end the violations.

“I fully support Cyprus and Greece in the face of Turkish violations of their sovereignty. It is unacceptable that the maritime space of the Member States (of the EU) is violated and threatened. Those who do this must be punished. ”

Macron, who has criticized Turkey for months over Ankara’s role in Libya, also said the EU should push for sanctions against those involved in the North African conflict.

“It is necessary to obtain a ceasefire and to start a real dynamic towards a political solution to the Libyan conflict”, he declared. (Reporting by John Irish; editing by Dominique Vidalon, William Maclean)

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