Leaders of seven southern European countries on Thursday called on Turkey to stop “unilateral and illegal activities” in the eastern Mediterranean and resume dialogue to mitigate tensions in the region.

Iran PressEurope: Heads of states and government of France, Greece, Cyprus, Malta, Italy, Spain and Portugal gathered in Corsica amid fears of open conflict as Turkey seeks to expand its energy resources and influence in the region, according to The Associated Press.

In their final statement, leaders reaffirmed their “full support and solidarity with Cyprus and Greece” who they say are facing Turkey’s “confrontational actions.”

“We regret that Turkey has not responded to the repeated calls by the European Union to end its unilateral and illegal activities,” they said.

Leaders warned that “in absence of progress in engaging Turkey into a dialogue and unless it ends its unilateral activities, the EU is ready to develop a list of further restrictive measures” at a summit later this month.

They also called on resuming German mediation in the dispute. Russia also offered this week to mediate.

Greece and Turkey have deployed naval and air force units to assert competing claims over energy exploration rights in the eastern Mediterranean. Turkish survey vessels and drillships continue to prospect for gas in waters where Greece and Cyprus claim exclusive economic rights.


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