(News 24h) – Tensions between Turkey and Greece tended to decrease after a dialogue with EU leaders was positive.
Turkey’s Daily Sabah reported that the European Union (EU) has decided to suspend the already planned sanctions against Turkey regarding territorial issues in the Mediterranean, due to positive moves from Ankara.
|Turkey’s Oruc Reis seismic survey vessel – the source of a controversy with Greece last year.|
The EU decided to suspend sanctions against Turkey in relation to a territorial dispute in the Eastern Mediterranean with Greece, due to positive developments during a meeting between the bloc’s foreign ministers on Monday. January 25.
Speaking after the meeting, German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass said that the EU did not decide to punish Turkey because it saw that there were positive developments from Ankara.
“There are no more Turkish ships in the disputed areas of the Eastern Mediterranean; exploration talks between Turkey and Greece have begun in Istanbul. Those are the positive signals that we have. Long wait, now should not be stressed by the sanctions, “Mr. Mass said.
However, the EU stressed that Ankara must execute its diplomatic decisions well. The sanctions, the head of foreign policy of the bloc Josep Borrell, noted, was not ready, but had not been lifted.
Turkey, for its part, recently reiterated that it is part of the bloc and sees its future in the EU, while the country will continue its efforts towards full membership.
Officials in Ankara said they hope to make diplomatic progress with Greece by 2021 and expect the bloc to take decisive action to resolve the issue.
Most recently, on January 25, Turkey and Greece launched the first direct diplomatic meeting in nearly five years, to resolve disputes related to sovereignty in the Eastern Mediterranean.
This is the first round of direct negotiations between Greece and Turkey in nearly 5 years. The 61st round of negotiations, taking place in the Turkish city of Istanbul, are not expected to make a breakthrough. However, this event is expected to form the basis for the delimitation of the maritime boundary between Greece and Turkey, one of the seas in the world where proven natural gas reserves have been discovered. most recent.
Since 2002, the two countries have conducted 60 rounds of negotiations. However, the negotiation process has been delayed since 2016.
With the efforts from the EU side, this could be the best negotiation for both sides.
Between Greece and Turkey there has long been a conflict over the territorial sea issue in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Tensions between the two allies in NATO have escalated with many military activities at sea after Turkey deployed the Oruc Reis survey vessel in the eastern Mediterranean waters in August 2020.
With President Erdogan downplaying his confrontational rhetoric against the EU and proposing to create a new chapter in relations with the EU. The move also shows that Ankara has been forced down the ladder to settle relations with the EU as well as secure its future benefits.
Analysts say that Turkey is showing a soft dialogue policy to avoid EU sanctions that are expected to be imposed in March as this will damage the struggling economy. towels of this country.
Besides, there is disagreement about the immigration issue of the two sides. Turkey is an important gateway to Europe for migrants. However, the EU’s support to this problem is in fact only a small fraction of the actual expenditure that the country says is up to 40 billion USD.
This is also the reason President Erdogan announced the opening of the border to put pressure on the EU in March last year as Europe buckled against the COVID-19 epidemic. This makes the relationship less salty but continues to worsen.
Relations between Turkey and the EU have gone through a turbulent year regarding Ankara’s tough foreign policy in Libya and the Middle East and the conflict culminated in a dispute in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Obviously, both sides feel they want to sit together and Ankara has a need to stay ahead of this effort.
The EU needs to speak up to defend the territorial waters of its two member countries, Greece and Cyprus, under the 1982 United Nations convention on the law of the sea while Turkey firmly defends the argument that, Ankara have the right to exploit resources in their own waters.
Therefore, if this problem is resolved, it will be an important premise to improve relations between Turkey and the EU in the near future.