Speaking at a joint news conference with his Italian counterpart Luigi di Maio in Ankara, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stressed that Turkey wants to work with Italy to meet Libya’s energy needs, such as electricity adding that the two countries could also work together in the Eastern Mediterranean.
However, the mood of … cooperation with Greece in the Eastern Mediterranean, which was shown by the Turkish Foreign Minister, a few hours after his provocative statements about the continental shelf, is also impressive.
“I told my friend Luigi, once again, that we want to work with everyone, especially Greece, on these issues, and we are ready for that. We have seen that Italy wants to play a constructive role in these matters. We welcome that. Because Italy has always been a balanced, fair and objective country that mediates. Therefore, ” Cavusoglu stressed,”we are ready to carry out such a project together with Italy, both within the EU and in the Eastern Mediterranean in the near future. On the other hand, we find the agreement between Italy and Greece on the EEZ important for our region”.
“Therefore, through dialogue and diplomacy, the issues can be resolved. Cooperation is better than excluding or disregarding the rights of others. It can be a culture of sharing. Of course, we hope that Greece will approach us with the same understanding. We will continue to exchange views on these issues in the near future,” he added.
On his part, Luigi Di Maio emphasised that the continuous supply of weapons to both sides in Libya, in violation of the embargo, as well as the presence of mercenaries on the battlefield must stop.
The Italian Foreign Minister wished “to continue the EU-Turkey dialogue, following what was defined by the declaration of March 2016”, because “it is the basis for the resumption of constructive dialogue”.
Earlier, however, Mevlut Çavuşoglu’s statements about the Aegean and Greece on the Turkish television network CNN Turk were in line with previous inflammatory positions. The Turkish Foreign Minister stressed that “Greece says that every island has a continental shelf. We say that not every island can have a continental shelf. Especially when an island is very far from the mainland, it cannot have a continental shelf. They are trying to leave us with only this red line. This is the map of Seville. And while we are saying that this is not possible, Greece is living in such a dream”, he said showing a map to reporters.