Turkey’s already fraught relationship with Greece and Cyprus under even more strain after Ankara’s claims to energy reserves in the Med. Spanish FM Arancha Gonzalez Laya reported a positive development after her meeting with Turkish officials in Ankara just hours before.
Turkey is open to dialogue over the issue but it’s hard to see where common ground might be in this diplomatic minefield. Those tensions and what is at stake not only for Brussels but for peace in the region were further underscored only days previously when on a visit to Cyprus, French President Emanuel Macron made his bellicose stance clear.
France has spearheaded - alongside Greece and Cyprus the push to reject Turkey's plan to explore between Cyprus and Crete. The EU is keen to keep a lid on any tensions between a member state and Turkey. Last week German Chancellor Angela Merkel held separate discussions with both Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Greece has indicated a willingness to de-escalate tensions, but on their terms. In a show of co-operation a top Turkish official said President Erdogan had requested any operations in the Med be put on hold as a constructive approach to negotiations with Greece but with that one of several issues still unresolved in the region, the next diplomatic moves will be crucial.