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Cavusoglu speaks to Borrell, Turkey cautions Macron over ‘red lines’

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had a telephone conversation with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, Turkish media reported on Monday.

The report said the two discussed the issue of the eastern Mediterranean.

EU’s foreign ministers last Friday decided to prepare sanctions against Turkey for its illegal activities in the eastern Mediterranean. The sanctions will go to the EU Council for approval late next month if Turkey does not stop its illegal drilling, the bloc has said.

Also, on Monday, a statement from the Turkish foreign Ministry said Ankara was capable of deterring those trying to violate its rights in the eastern Mediterranean. The ministry was responding to a question about French President Emmanuel Macron’s statement on ‘red lines’, in the region.

“Those who believe that they have drawn red lines against the just case of Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean, will face only the decisive stance of our country,” the statement said.

“If there is a red line in the region, it is the rights of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots under international law. It is time for those who see themselves through the giant mirror to face the truth. The imperialist era of drawing maps by drawing lines is a thing of the past.”

The statement added that the conflicts in the eastern Mediterranean would not be resolved “by provocations from outside actors” but by dialogue and cooperation between the coastal countries on the basis of the rule of law.

Macron said on Friday that he had taken a tough stance over the summer with regard to Turkey’s actions in the eastern Mediterranean, setting red lines because Ankara respected actions not words.

Relations between France and Turkey have soured in recent months over Ankara’s role in Nato, Libya and the Mediterranean.

Macron has called for the EU to show solidarity with Greece and Cyprus in the dispute over natural gas reserves off Cyprus and the extent of their continental shelves and has pushed for further sanctions at EU level, although there are divisions in the bloc over the issue.

“When it comes to Mediterranean sovereignty, I have to be consistent in deeds and words,” Macron told reporters at a news conference.

“I can tell you that the Turks only consider and respect that. If you say words that are not followed by acts…What France did this summer was important: it’s a red line policy.”

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