Member states of the Union for the Mediterranean
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is heading to Brussels on Wednesday for a European Council meeting on Thursday where he will face the difficult balancing act of backing further funding for Turkey to curb the flow of refugees toward Europe while also supporting sanctions against Ankara for its illegal drilling off Cyprus and its incursion in northern Syria.
Lebanon's defense minister said his country and Cyprus have agreed to work together on curbing boat loads of migrants from reaching the east Mediterranean island nation.
Elias Bou Saab said after talks with his Cypriot counterpart on Tuesday that Lebanon would pass on information to Cypriot authorities to better coordinate in heading off such arrivals.
Turkey's foreign ministry says it rejects and condemns European Union decisions to suspend arms exports to Turkey after the military operation in northeastern Syria and drilling operations in the eastern Mediterranean.
EU countries pledged on Monday to suspend arms exports to Turkey and agreed to draw up a list of economic sanctions against Turkish oil and gas drilling near Cyprus.
Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias on Monday welcomed a decision by European Union governments to restrict arms exports to Turkey over its invasion of Syria (although stopping short of an embargo) and to draw up economic sanctions on Ankara over its illegal drilling inside Cyprus' exclusive economic zone.
At his first European Council meeting this week, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will face a difficult balancing act of backing further funding for Turkey to curb the flow of refugees through Greece while also supporting sanctions against Ankara for its illegal drilling off Cyprus and its incursion in northern Syria.
I read the recent remarks made by leftist opposition leader Alexis Tsipras, criticizing the conservative government's handling of Greece's relations with Turkey. We need to be careful that this very sensitive and dangerous issue is not put at the forefront of a domestic political confrontation. We have paid a terrible price for doing this in the past.