Turkey welcomed the efforts and rhetoric of the European Union to promote a positive atmosphere between Ankara and the bloc, but it rejected the criticism directed at Ankara over its activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry said that it “hopes that the conditional steps that the European Union wishes to take will not lead to the loss of the positive momentum” aimed at reviving relations.
The ministry accused the European Union of “violating international law by describing the Turkish operations in the eastern Mediterranean as illegal.”
Earlier Thursday, European Union leaders fulfilled a promise they made in 2016 to deepen trade relations with Turkey, but they also warned of sanctions against it, if it resumed oil and gas exploration in the disputed areas in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The leaders of the European Union agreed at a video summit that the bloc is ready to strengthen cooperation with Turkey, provided that the “current decline of escalation” continues.
“The European Union is ready to deal with Turkey in a phased, proportionate and reversible manner, to enhance cooperation in a number of areas of common interest, and to take more decisions at the European Council meeting next June,” the summit results stated.
Source: “Reuters” + “France Press” + “Sputnik”