Following the escalation of the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean during the summer, the Socialists and Democrats Group in the European Parliament is taking the lead and will request a debate and a resolution in the next European Parliament plenary in two weeks.

“The situation in the Eastern Mediterranean started to dangerously escalate since major offshore gas drilling projects were taking shape in the area close to neighbouring countries. The hostile rhetoric by Turkey and dangerous incidents have now reached an unprecedented level. The EU High Representative Josep Borrell and the German Presidency have called for a dialogue with Turkey and demanded Ankara to refrain from unilateral steps that stoke tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean. EU foreign ministers’ Gymnich meeting last week called for further sanctions against Turkey should Turkey not de-escalate tensions in the region. These could be discussed at the next European Council on 24-25 September,” said S&D vice-president for foreign affairs, Kati Piri.

“The S&D Group fully supports these steps and calls for other political groups to agree to our proposal for a debate and a resolution in the next European Parliament plenary in two weeks,” concluded Piri.

“The EU is not just a third party than can act as a mediator on this issue, as Turkish authorities often demand. The EU is Greece and Cyprus!, and therefore Greek and Cypriot borders are EU borders. The current Turkish aggressive policy in the Mediterranean further hinders its relations with the EU. In the last years, particularly since the failed coup attempt, Turkey has constantly moved away from the EU in all its policies, domestic and external. There is still the chance to avoid further negative measures that will ultimately be detrimental for all in the region. There is still time to de-escalate and come back to the dialogue!” added EP rapporteur on Turkey and S&D MEP, Nacho Sánchez Amor.