Duvar English / Reuters
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told European Council President Charles Michel on Sept. 6 the EU's stance towards the East Mediterranean would be a test of its sincerity, calling on it "behave responsibly" with regards to Turkey's row with Greece.
NATO allies Turkey and Greece have been locked in a dispute over hydrocarbon exploration in the sea's disputed waters and the extent of their continental shelves.
Provocative comments and steps by European politicians on regional matters would not help achieve a solution, Erdoğan was cited as saying by his office.NATO says Turkey, Greece started talks to defuse tension in East Med, no agreement reached yet
"PresidentErdoğan said the attitude shown by the EU in the EasternMediterranean will be a test of sincerity from the perspective ofinternational law and regional peace," the statement said.
"PresidentErdoğan called on EU institutions and member countries to behaveresponsibly and remain just, impartial and objective on all regionalissues, notably the Eastern Mediterranean," it added.
Michelhad said on Sept. 4 that European Union leaders will decide on a"carrot and stick" approach to Turkey when they meet onSept. 24-25, proposing a conference to defuse tensions in the EasternMediterranean.
Lastmonth Turkey sent a seismic survey vessel for hydrocarbon explorationin disputed waters in the region after a maritime deal between Greeceand Egypt.
OnSept. 3, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Greece andTurkey had agreed to start technical talks to avoid accidentalclashes in the region.
The following day, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Greece would start talks with Turkey to resolve a dispute in the Eastern Mediterranean once Turkish "provocations" ceased.EU preparing to sanction Ankara as Merkel says bloc obliged to support Greece on Med issue