EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Borrell: It’s time to make tough decisions about Turkey

In the General Assembly of the European Parliament, it was discussed how the European Union would respond to the increasing tension in the region due to the drilling activities carried out by Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean. The session is in preparation for the EU leaders’ summit on 24-25 September, where relations with Turkey will be discussed.

Speaking at the session, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Relations, Josep Borrell, stated that they are seeking a consensus among the members of the Union on imposing economic sanctions on Turkey and said, “Our relationship with Turkey is at a crossroads. It is time for the member countries to take difficult decisions regarding Turkey.” said. Borrell also added that there is still no consensus within the Union on sanctions.

While messages of full support were given to Greece and Cyprus in the session, the importance of the Mediterranean for the EU was emphasized.

Some European Parliamentarians demanded that EU countries impose an arms embargo on Turkey. Among these people was the Portuguese Socialist Isabel Santos. Santos stated that the dialogue with Ankara should continue and the EU should take a firm stance. European Parliamentarian Tom Vandendriessche demanded that the Customs Union be terminated and that Turkey’s candidate status to the EU be dropped completely. On the other hand, French European Parliamentarian Arnaud Danjean said that the European Union “is not a mediator but an actor” in this case.

Answering the questions of the European Parliamentarians, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Relations Josep Borrell said that the EU does not have the authority to impose an arms embargo on a country.

Borrell: It’s time to make tough decisions about Turkey

High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Relations Josep Borrell stated that he heard the demands of the European Parliamentarians, but wanted to clarify some issues, and stated that the EU did not have the authority to impose an arms embargo. Borrell said each member state decides for itself which country it will impose an arms embargo on. Borrell stated that they should put pressure on the Parliamentarians in their own countries on this issue.

Speaking as “We are obliged to improve relations and protect our interests through dialogue,” Borrell stated that a “turning point” has been reached regarding Turkey, that important decisions must be taken, but negotiations with member states continue on this issue.

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