File Photo: Josep Borrell Fontelles, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (European Union/Handout)
Member states of the European Union (EU) on Friday agreed to prepare countering measures in response to Turkey's naval activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Following an urgent meeting convened by EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell, the foreign ministers of the 27 member states considered the recent naval mobilisations by Turkey would "lead to greater antagonism and distrust".
The ministers reiterated strong support for Borrell to re-establish dialogue and facilitate re-engagement with Turkey. Borrell will also prepare "options on further appropriate measures in case tensions do not abate," according to the Council of the EU.
Stressing that serious deterioration in the relationship with Turkey is having far-reaching strategic consequences for the entire EU, the ministers said a broader discussion about relations with Turkey will be held later in August.
Last Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country resumed drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean, one day after Egypt and Greece signed an agreement on the demarcation of the maritime borders between the two countries and setting up an exclusive economic zone between them in the Mediterranean Sea.