Med7 urges Turkey to halt “unilateral activities”

Seven Mediterranean states on Thursday urged Turkey to resolve territorial disputes with Greece and Cyprus through negotiation, warning of “further restrictive measures” if Turkey does not halt its “unilateral activities.”

“We reiterate our full support and solidarity with Cyprus and Greece in the face of the repeated infringements on their sovereignty and sovereign rights, as well as confrontational actions by Turkey,” said leaders from France, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain, Greece and Cyprus — a group dubbed Med7 — in a joint declaration after their meeting at Porticcio, a coastal resort in French Mediterranean island of Corsica.

“We call upon all the countries in the region to abide by international law, in particular international law of the sea, and encourage all parties to resolve their disputes through dialogue and negotiation,” said the declaration.

“We maintain that in absence of progress in engaging Turkey into a dialogue and unless it ends its unilateral activities, the EU is ready to develop a list of further restrictive measures that could be discussed at the European Council on Sept. 24-25,” it added.

Tensions flared up between Turkey and Greece over energy explorations in the eastern Mediterranean waters in recent weeks.

The two countries have long disagreed on overlapping claims on hydrocarbon resources in the region, with both sides holding conflicting views of how far their continental shelves extend in waters.