Greece has continued taking “provocative” steps in eastern Mediterranean, Turkish FM Cavusoglu says, adding Ankara expects EU to act as an honest and objective mediator.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks in a joint press conference with Hungarian Foreign and Trade Minister Peter Szijjarto, Ankara, Turkey, December 8, 2020.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks in a joint press conference with Hungarian Foreign and Trade Minister Peter Szijjarto, Ankara, Turkey, December 8, 2020. (AA)

Turkey wants to improve ties with the European Union on the basis of full membership, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said, adding that problems between them could only be solved if the bloc acted with common sense at a summit this week and beyond.

Turkey has also called on the European Union to become an "honest mediator" in its standoff with the bloc's member Greece over undersea resources, two days before an EU summit.

EU foreign ministers said on Monday that Turkey had failed to help resolve a dispute with EU members Greece and Greek Cyprus over natural gas resources in the eastern Mediterranean, but they left any decision on retaliatory sanctions for an EU summit on Thursday.

READ MORE: Erdogan: Turkey will not bow to ‘imperialist expansionism’ in east Med

Calls for sanctions

Turkey is at odds with Greece over territory believed to be rich in gas in the eastern Mediterranean.

Athens is now pressing for punitive sanctions at an EU summit on Thursday.

The European Union "should play a role of an honest mediator" on issues that concern Turkey and Greece, Cavusoglu told a news conference in Ankara alongside his Hungarian counterpart, Peter Szijjarto.

"We can resolve the problems only through dialogue and diplomacy," Cavusoglu said.

Ankara has angered Greece and the rest of the EU by sending a survey ship and navy vessels to the disputed waters in defiance of calls to stop. It ordered the Oruc Reis ship back to port last month.

France supports Greece's call for sanctions but not all countries are convinced with some fearing an influx of refugees.

"Whether they like it or not, the security of Europe is in the hands of Turkey to a great extent," Hungary's Szijjarto said in translated comments.

READ MORE: Will the international community find a fair solution in the east Med?

Source: TRTWorld and agencies