Southern EU leaders urge Turkey to end ‘unilateral’ actions

Leaders of seven southern European countries on Thursday urged Turkey to end “unilateral activities” in the eastern Mediterranean and resume dialogue to ease tensions in the region.

Heads of states and government of France, Greece, Cyprus, Malta, Italy, Spain and Portugal gathered in Corsica amid fears of open conflict as Turkey seeks to expand its energy resources and influence in the region.

In their final statement, leaders reaffirmed their “full support and solidarity with Cyprus and Greece” who they say are facing Turkey’s “confrontational actions.”

Turkey condemns Macron

Earlier today, ahead of a summit of EU Mediterranean states which excluded Turkey, French President Emmanuel Macron reportedly said: “We must be tough with the Turkish government and not with the Turkish people, who deserve more than the Erdogan government.”

Turkey has condemned Macron over what it called his “arrogant” remarks rooted in “colonial reflexes.” In a statement made on Thursday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Macron endangers EU interests with his “individual and nationalistic stance.” Macron’s statement seeks “to give lessons by speaking pedantically with his old colonial reflexes,” the statement added.

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