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EU must show leadership with action in the Eastern Mediterranean - John Brady TD

20 October, 2020 - by John Brady TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence, John Brady TD, today expressed his concern over the failure of the European Union to agree a coherent approach to the provocative actions of Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Speaking today, Teachta Brady said:

"We have a situation in the Eastern Mediterranean which is highly volatile, and which has the potential to escalate in the near future.

"Turkey appears to be on a foreign policy mission designed to provoke the international community, and to escalate an already dangerous situation.

"Despite indications of the implementation of sanctions on Turkey, the EU Council President Charles Michel deferred any decisions on the issue until the December meeting of the Council.

“A dithering response by the EU towards provocative actions by Turkey is not a new phenomenon. In 2019 the EU announced the imposition of an arms embargo on Turkey following its invasion of Northern Syria, which it managed to conveniently forget about almost immediately afterwards.

“It is imperative that there is a peaceful solution to the issue in the Eastern Mediterranean. While Turkey initially responded to overtures from the EU by withdrawing the vessel in September, in what can only be described as an act of provocation, they have moved the Oruc Reiss back into Greek territorial waters.

"I believe that the first step should be the withdrawal of the Turkish exploration ship, the Oruc Reis from the area.

"The EU must do everything in its power to bring all sides to the dispute towards a diplomatic solution. That may mean the imposition of sanctions against Turkey.

"Regardless the EU must resolve to show leadership, to prevent an escalation of the dispute into a potential conflict."

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