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EU warns Turkey of sanctions as east Mediterranean crisis worsens | News

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The European Union has threatened Turkey with fresh sanctions – including tough economic measures – unless progress is made in reducing soaring tensions with Greece and Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The EU’s top diplomat Josep Borrell on Friday said the bloc wanted to give “a serious chance to dialogue” but was steadfast in its support for member states Greece and Cyprus in the crisis, which has raised fears of a military standoff.

A dispute over maritime borders and gas drilling rights near the island of Cyprus has reignited the long-running rivalry between Athens and Ankara, with the two neighbours staging rival naval drills.

The EU’s measures, meant to limit Turkey’s ability to explore for natural gas in contested waters, could include individuals, ships or the use of European ports, Borrell said.

“We can go to measures related to sectoral activities … where the Turkish economy is related to the European economy,” Borrell told a news conference, referring to possible sanctions.

The EU would focus on everything related to “activities we consider illegal”, he said.

Borrell was speaking after EU foreign ministers met in Berlin to discuss support for Greece after it ratified a maritime accord with Egypt to counter Turkey’s claims to energy resources in the region.

Will Greece and Turkey fight over energy?

‘Beyond the limits of EU’

Turkey’s foreign ministry said the EU had no basis for its stance and rejected Greek maritime claims.

“It is beyond the limits of the EU to criticise the hydrocarbon activities of our country within our own continental shelf and demand that we stop them,” spokesman Hami Aksoy said.

Al Jazeera’s Sinem Koseoglu, reporting from Istanbul, said Ankara has urged the EU “not to support Greece’s maximalist demands against international law under the pretext of union [EU] solidarity”.

“Greece is not an archipelago state. It is illegal under international law for Greek islands to have a continental shelf,” Koseoglu said, citing a Turkish foreign ministry spokesman.

Borrell and German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said the EU first wanted to give dialogue a chance to cool tensions between Greece and Turkey, which are NATO allies.

Turkey is also a formal candidate to join the EU, although its candidacy is at risk and could be withdrawn as a type of sanction, diplomats have said.

Two senior EU diplomats told Reuters news agency that foreign ministers agreed to leave any decision to EU government leaders, who are set to meet for a two-day summit from September 24.

“Nothing will be decided before the September European Council,” a senior diplomat said, adding that Turkey could also be rewarded with greater access to the EU’s market of 450 million consumers if it curtailed its drilling.

Germany: ‘Spark could lead to disaster’ in east Mediterranean

John Psarapoulous, reporting for Al Jazeera from Athens, said “there is a tenor of satisfaction on the Greek side” following the meeting of EU foreign ministers in Berlin.

He said Greece has put conditions to any bilateral dialogue with Turkey.

“It [Athens] not only wants that dialogue to be a political agreement to what the two sides agree based on the current dynamic in the eastern Mediterranean, but international,” he said.

“[Greece] wants Turkey to commit to arbitration at the International Court [of Justice] at The Hague if the dialogue doesn’t ultimately succeed.”

Greece and Turkey are at odds over the rights to potential hydrocarbon resources in the area, based on conflicting claims over the extent of their continental shelves.

Tensions escalated this month after Ankara dispatched the Oruc Reis seismic survey vessel in a disputed area following the pact between Athens and Cairo.

The agreement is seen as a response to a Turkish-Libyan accord signed in 2019 allowing Turkey access to areas in the region where large hydrocarbon deposits have been discovered.

On Thursday, the Turkish military issued an advisory, known as a Navtex, saying it will hold “gunnery exercises” in the Eastern Mediterranean off the coast of Iskenderun, northeast of Cyprus on September 1 and 2.

SOURCE:
Al Jazeera and news agencies



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Muntu Blocked in Kamwenge

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Alliance for National Transformation presidential candidate Gen. Mugisha Muntu has been blocked from campaigning in Kamwenge according to a statement he released earlier today.Below is the full statement:

STATEMENT
Today in Kamwenge, as we have done since the start of the campaign season, we headed out to speak with the people. We had earlier in the week agreed on the venue with security agencies. No one had anticipated that it would rain as much as it did, making it impossible for us or the people to access.

After identifying an alternative place only 100m away from the original venue, negotiating with the owner and communicating the same to the public, we headed to the second venue only to be stopped by police.

Our policy has always been to do all we can to be reasonable, even in the face of unreasonable action on the part of the state. We engaged the police leadership in a civilized, respectable manner well knowing that they intended to not only frustrate us, but cause us to act in ways that would give them an excuse to cause chaos. This was on top of their intimidating the radio we had booked and duly paid to appear on.

While we are confident that we are on the right side of both the law and reason, we have chosen not to endanger the lives of our supporters or the general public by escalating the situation. We will do everything humanly possible to avoid a single life being lost or blood being shed on account of our campaign.

And yet this truth remains: the regime’s days are numbered.

ChangeYouCanTrust

CountryBeforeSelf

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Is Johnson Byabashaija courting Enid Kukunda for protection?

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The very amiable Commissioner General of Prisons Canon Johnson Byabashaija was recently sighted with President Y K Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s second wife Enid Kukunda as the two had a very secretive meeting in one of the city hangouts.

According to our informers, the two seem to be in a deep conversation that they wouldn’t allow a housefly pass around. However, sources further reveal that Byabashaija could have courted the second lady for protection given that he has amassed a lot of wealth and could be a subject of investigations.

Our sources reveal that Byabashaija who carries himself as Mr.I know it all hasn’t met Madam Enid alone but a host of others with connections to the centre of power in the country.

We will bring you more detail

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Bobi Wine released on Bail

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Presidential candidate and kyadondo East legislator Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu has been realeased on bail by the Iganga magistrates court where he appeared to defend himself against accusations of flouting COVID-19 campaign SOPs. A defiant Kyagulanyi took the opportunity to blast the incumbent Yoweri Museveni, whom he accuses of using state power to quell dissident.

This follows a tense week that has seen thousands injured and several dead following Hon. Kyagulanyi’s arrest earlier this week. Demonstrations and riots erupted in many parts of the country and heavy police and army deployment was seen all over the country.

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