France, Germany grant Turkey week to end provocations

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The Turkish drilling vessel Oruc Reis is currently sailing in the waters of the Greek continental shelf. File photo

France and Germany on Thursday accused Turkey of continuing to provoke the European Union through its actions in the Eastern Mediterranean, and gave it a week to clarify its positions, Reuters reports.

“It is clear to us that Turkey is constantly carrying out acts of provocation which are unacceptable,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said at a press conference alongside his German and Polish counterparts.

According to the report, Le Drian said the ball was in Ankara’s court, but the European Union was ready to change the balance of power if Turkey did not return to dialogue.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called Turkey’s decision to send the ship back to the Mediterranean “inadmissible”.

Asked about the possibility of proposing EU sanctions, he said the bloc would wait a week to decide how to react.

“It’s been two times that the expected talks have not taken place and we don’t know when they will take place,” he said. “We have to wait and see if there is progress in a week, then we will see what attitude should be adopted by the EU”, Reuters quote him as saying.

Despite an agreement at the EU summit on October 2 to persuade Ankara to stop exploring for natural gas in Greek and Cypriot waters, Turkey said on Wednesday it was resuming operations.

Turkey withdrew its ship Oruc Reis last month, just ahead of the EU summit, at which economic sanctions were discussed, to redeploy it on Monday.

The bloc said it would examine the possibility of sanctions against Turkey at a European summit in December.



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