Erdogan seeks energy talks as EU mulls sanctions over East Med

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan believes “a win-win formula” can be found in a row with Greece over undersea resources, as the European Union mulls sanctions ahead of a key summit.

NATO members Turkey and Greece have been at loggerheads over maritime territory in the Eastern Mediterranean, believed to be rich in energy resources including natural gas.

Turkey has enraged Greece by sending a survey ship and navy vessels to the disputed waters, prompting Athens to push its EU allies for tougher sanctions at Thursday’s summit of EU leaders.

“I am calling on all neighbouring countries in the Mediterranean, especially Greece, not to see this issue as a zero-sum game,” Erdogan said on Monday.

“I believe a win-win formula that observes everyone’s rights could be found.”

Turkey will not bow to threats and blackmailing over the Eastern Mediterranean, Erdogan said, adding that any plans or maps excluding Ankara from its rights in the region were unacceptable.

European foreign ministers are expected to discuss measures against Turkey at their meeting on Monday before the coming summit.

“Germany has worked hard to facilitate a dialogue between the European Union and Turkey over the past months,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Monday.

“But there have been too many provocations, and tensions between Turkey, Cyprus and Greece have prevented any direct talks.

“For this reason, we will talk about what consequences we should draw – also with a view to the EU summit this week.”

Turkey has enraged Greece by sending a survey ship and navy vessels to the disputed waters, prompting Athens to push its EU allies for tougher sanctions at Thursday’s summit of EU leaders.

“I am calling on all neighbouring countries in the Mediterranean, especially Greece, not to see this issue as a zero-sum game,” Erdogan said on Monday.

“I believe a win-win formula that observes everyone’s rights could be found.”

Turkey will not bow to threats and blackmailing over the Eastern Mediterranean, Erdogan said, adding that any plans or maps excluding Ankara from its rights in the region were unacceptable.

European foreign ministers are expected to discuss measures against Turkey at their meeting on Monday before the coming summit.

“Germany has worked hard to facilitate a dialogue between the European Union and Turkey over the past months,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Monday.

“But there have been too many provocations, and tensions between Turkey, Cyprus and Greece have prevented any direct talks.

“For this reason, we will talk about what consequences we should draw – also with a view to the EU summit this week.”

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