EU lawmakers pressure Borrell to be tougher with Turkey

In light of a crucial EU foreign affairs meeting next Monday (13 July), MEPs from all political groups in the European Parliament on Thursday (9 July) strongly condemned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his regime’s activities in the Mediterranean.

EU lawmakers raised a number of issues, ranging from the illegal drillings in eastern Mediterranean, to overflights in the Aegean Sea, Turkey’s involvement in Syria and in Libya.

A number of MEPs called on EU’s chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, to take a tougher stance against Ankara following his pledge to last week to launch dialogue.

MEP David McAllister (EPP), chair of the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee, said yes to dialogue but wondered “on what basis” such a step should be grounded, especially considering that Turkey so far has kept its threatening rhetoric.

EPP chief Manfred Weber asked for the immediate halt of EU Turkey talks and asked EU member states to show solidarity with Cyprus and Greece.

Additionally, MEP Nathalie Loiseau (Renew Europe), chair of the European Parliament’s subcommittee on security and defence, called on Borrell to be clearer when it comes to Turkey saying “diplomatic language” is not needed anymore as it’s increasingly clearer that Ankara does not have the same interests with the EU when it comes to security in the region.

Loiseau also lashed out at Erdoğan saying he was sending jihadists to Libya.

In response to the criticism, Borrell acknowledged Turkey’s “alarming aggressiveness”,  insisting though that dialogue should prevail.

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