European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen sent a message to Turkey in her first speech on the State of the Union before the plenary of the European Parliament.
The German EU president spoke of “aggressive actions” by Turkey and called on Ankara to stop unilateral actions and to have a dialogue.
At the same time, she assured Greece and Cyprus that “they can always rely on our solidarity for the protection of their legal sovereign rights”.
“Turkey is an important neighbor, however, even though we are close to the map, the distance between us seems to be increasing. Turkey is in a troubled region, an important economic and trade partner and hosting millions of refugees, but nothing justifies aggression against its neighbors. Greece and Cyprus as our Member States can always rely on our solidarity to protect their legal sovereign rights. Turkey must stop unilateral action and dialogue is the only solution”, she stated.
On the issue of EU sanctions that can be imposed on a third country, Mrs von der Layen suggested that there be an increased majority, not a unanimity.
She also announced that she would propose a law on automatic sanctions in case of human rights violations in third countries.