The European Commission stated that Turkey “must avoid threats and actions that harm good neighborly relations, normalize its relations with the Republic of Cyprus and respect the sovereignty of all EU member states over their territorial waters and airspace, as well as all their sovereign rights” in its the latest report.
Published Tuesday, the Expansion Pack for 2021 provides a detailed assessment of the state of affairs and progress made by the Western Balkans and Turkey on their way to the European Union.
The report emphasizes that Turkey must respect the rights of EU members “to explore and exploit natural resources in accordance with EU and international law, in particular the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)”.
“Accordingly, it is expected that Turkey will refrain from any drilling work in search of hydrocarbons in the offshore zones of other states,” the statement said.
The Commission’s report also noted that the November 2019 agreement between Turkey and the Government of Libya’s National Accord “remains in force, despite the fact that it ignored the sovereign rights of Greece in the relevant field, violates the sovereign rights of third states, contradicts the United Nations Convention on the Maritime law and may not have any legal consequences for third states ”.
The report describes Turkey as “a key partner of the European Union in important areas of common interest such as migration, counter-terrorism, economy, trade, energy and transport”.
Noting that dialogue and cooperation with Turkey has expanded in 2021, the report states that “the EU is strategically interested in a stable and secure environment in the Eastern Mediterranean and in developing joint and mutually beneficial relations with Turkey.”
A day earlier, the EU foreign ministers decided to impose sanctions on Turkey if Ankara’s actions and provocations against Cyprus continue.
At a meeting in Luxembourg on Monday, the Foreign Affairs Council called on EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell and the European Commission to prepare proposals for sanctions against Turkey in light of its unilateral actions in the city Varosha in occupied northern Cyprus and the pursuit of a research vessel Nautical geo in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus.
The EU Foreign Ministers agreed that they would ask the European External Action Service to prepare an options paper, which is both an analysis of the situation and a proposal for a number of measures that the Council could consider if it wishes to take a decision.
Josep Borrell called “unacceptable” Turkey’s intervention against European courts. Josep Borrell concluded that it was decided to instruct the European External Action Service and the European Commission to prepare options with proposed measures against Turkey, the decision on which will be taken by the member states.