eu-sanctions 23 July 2020

Macron calls for Turkey sanctions as Cyprus issue escalates

French President, Emmanuel Macron has called for EU sanctions to punish Turkey for ‘violations’ of Greek and Cypriot maritime space after the Turkish navy published an advisory on seismological activity in the potentially oil-rich area – increasingly a locus of tension between Turkey and the EU, Greece and Cyprus.

German media reported on 22 July that the previous day, German Chancellor Angela Merkel had intervened to help prevent a potential military conflict between Greece and Turkey.

Germany, Italy and France are known to have had Turkey in their sights when, 18 July, they called on all parties in the ongoing Libyan civil war and their foreign backers to immediately stop the fighting and respect the 2011 UN arms embargo.

‘We share grave concerns regarding the increased military tensions in this country and the heightened risk of regional escalation,’ said Merkel, Macron and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in a joint statement.

‘We therefore call on all Libyan parties and their foreign supporters for an immediate cessation of fighting and for a stop of the ongoing military build-up throughout the country…We also urge all foreign actors to end their increasing interference and to fully respect the arms embargo established by the United Nations Security Council.’