Turkey began drilling for oil and gas near Cyprus last year despite warnings from Brussels, amid wider fears of a military escalation in the eastern Mediterranean. Greece and Turkey are NATO allies, but have been separated for years because of naval exercises held in the region.
Ahead of the summit, a diplomatic source told the Sunday Mail Nicosia: “The more you will get is a statement disguised as generic jargon, meaning the EU calls on all parties to engage in dialogue and refrain from instigating tensions in the eastern Mediterranean. ”
The source, who requested anonymity, added: “In this case, it was unrealistic to expect France – despite Macron’s strong anti-Turkey rhetoric – to push it too far.
“And Greece softened its stance once it and Turkey agreed to hold talks on their own maritime disputes.
“So yes, Nicosia had a strategy to incur a cost to Turkey for its violations of Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone – but with too many moving parts and politics still on the move, Belarus’ gamble slowly unfolded. ”
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban also defended Cypriots denouncing the EU over its treatment of the country.
The EU was deemed unhappy with Cyprus because it did not support the decision to impose sanctions on Belarus for electoral fraud and human rights violations.
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“They don’t like this idea. I don’t agree with that, but that’s their position. Sanctions could be negotiated over and over again, and if there is unanimity … we can do it.
“But now there is no deal. ”
Mediation led by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Council President Charles Michel calmed Greek and Turkish spirits after weeks of tension in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Brussels obtained an agreement on Tuesday to relaunch negotiations on the limits of the continental shelf which broke off in 2016 in the process.
An EU diplomat added: “The dialogue has reduced the need to threaten sanctions against Turkey and therefore there is no consensus among the 27 for such a measure at the moment. ”
Talks will begin on Thursday.