Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has said that Greece wants dialogue with Turkey with regards to the Eastern Mediterranean crisis, but on peaceful terms and not “when held at gunpoint.”
“We do need dialogue, but not when held at gunpoint. What threatens my country’s security and stability threatens the well-being and safety of all EU member states,” Mitsotakis said in an article published in the London Times, Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and France’s Le Monde newspapers.
This month, EU leaders are expected to specify their response to Turkey. If Turkey does not withdraw its assets, ‘meaningful sanctions’ should be imposed, the Greek prime minister wrote.
“If Europe wants to exercise true geopolitical power, it simply cannot afford to appease a belligerent Turkey,” Mitsotakis said.
Turkey, he said, still had time to avoid sanctions and ‘take a step back’.
“They should stand down, return to the table, and pick up from where they left off when they quit exploratory talks in 2016. And if we cannot agree, then we must seek resolution at the Hague,” he said, referring to the international court for sovereign disputes.
French President Emmanuel Macron will discuss the European Union’s strained relationship with Turkey later on Sept. 10 with Mitsotakis.
Both are attending a ‘MED7’ summit on the French island of Corsica along with the leaders of Portugal, Spain, Italy, Cyprus and Malta.