Greece urges EU to stop weapons sales to Turkey

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan attend a press conference following their meeting at the Maximos Mansion in Athens, Greece December 7, 2017. (Reuters)

Greece has urged its EU allies to impose an arms embargo on Turkey, according to reports on Tuesday, stoking a growing row over energy reserves between the Mediterranean neighbors.

Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias wrote to his German, Spanish and Italian counterparts to highlight "recent provocative actions" by Turkey and urge an end to weapons sales, the Greek ANA news agency reported.

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Turkey is engaged in a bitter dispute with Greece and Cyprus over oil and gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean, several times deploying an exploration ship to waters claimed by Greece.

In his letter to German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, Dendias called on Berlin to block exports of submarines, frigates and aircraft.

Separately, Dendias wrote to the European Commission asking for the bloc to suspend its customs agreement with Turkey in response to persistent violations, a diplomatic source said, without specifying the alleged breaches.

At the end of a summit last week, EU leaders condemned Turkey's "unilateral actions and provocations" in the Mediterranean.

The bloc warned Ankara that it would consider sanctions at its next summit in December if Turkey had not changed its policy.

Under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey has become an increasingly assertive regional power, engaging in a long-term dispute with the EU over migrants as well as energy and territory.

Erdogan has also become a major player in conflicts including the civil wars in Syria and Libya, as well as backing Azerbaijan in its current fighting with Armenia.

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Last Update: Tuesday, 20 October 2020 KSA 20:15 - GMT 17:15
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