MEPs Costas Mavridis (DIKO, S&D) addressed the Secretary General of NATO, Mr. Stoltenberg, and the High Representative of the EU and Vice-President of the European Commission, Mr. Borrell, in the framework of the Inter-Parliamentary Conference on common security and defense policy, organized by the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the EU on 3-4 March.
In his intervention to the Secretary General Mr. Mavridis initially mentioned how important it is that we exchange views in this context, because we face common threats and at the same time defend our common values and interests.
He added: “Especially for Turkey, ignoring its internal situation, the Erdogan regime is cooperating with our opponents, e.g. with Russia, the Islamic State, the regime in Iran, Libya and elsewhere. Especially in the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey is at odds with our interests and values. My question is simple and is addressed personally to the Secretary General of NATO, to explain why he was supportive of Turkey and the Erdogan regime. I would like to remind the Secretary General of NATO, what President Macron said about Turkey (that “Turkey is causing cerebral palsy in NATO”) and that the Trump administration in the US is over. We now have the new Biden government. “Our commitment must be to defend our common interests and values against threats and adversaries.”
In his speech to Mr. Borrell, Mr. Mavridis referred to the aggressive and illegal actions of Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean and the policy of appeasement pursued so far, stating:
“The strategic autonomy of the EU presupposes a compass, as you have rightly said, and this compass is being judged today in the Eastern Mediterranean for two very specific reasons:
a) The threats, the violations of International Law and the aggression of Turkey are directed against the EU itself and especially against 2 specific Member States, Greece and Cyprus.
“b) If we are talking about a compass of the EU's strategic autonomy, it is not possible for member states, such as Germany, to sell high-tech submarines to Turkey to use them against European interests.”
Concluding, the Cypriot MEP addressed Mr. Borrell: “Finally, I tell you again, do not associate your name with the policy of appeasement. It will be a shame in our history as an EU. “