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23 Jul, 2020 09:57

Macron urges EU action & sanctions over ‘provocations’ in E. Mediterranean

Macron urges EU action & sanctions over ‘provocations’ in E. Mediterranean

French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday said it would be a serious error by the EU to not respond to what he described as provocations in the eastern Mediterranean. Macron also said he wants more sanctions on those who violate Greek and Cypriot maritime space.

“In this part of the Mediterranean, which is vital for our two countries, energy and security issues are essential,” Macron told reporters alongside his Cypriot counterpart, Nicos Anastasiades. “What’s at stake is a power struggle in particular of Turkey and Russia which are asserting themselves more and more and in the face of which the EU is still doing too little,” Reuters quoted Macron as saying.

“It would be a serious mistake to leave our security in the Mediterranean in the hands of other actors. This is not an option for Europe and it is not something that France will let happen,” the French president said.

Turkey and Greece are at loggerheads over overlapping claims for hydrocarbon resources. EU member Cyprus also wants to explore for natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean amid strong Turkish objections.