European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday that the withdrawal of Turkish exploratory vessels from the eastern Mediterranean was “a positive step.”
During her “State of the Union” speech at the European Parliament she stressed, however, that Turkey must “refrain from unilateral actions.”
“Turkey is and will always be an important neighbor. But while we are close together on the map, the distance between us appears to be growing. Yes, Turkey is in a troubled neighborhood. And yes, it is hosting millions of refugees, for which we support them with considerable funding. But none of this is justification for attempts to intimidate its neighbors,” she said.
“Nothing can justify the effort to blackmail its neighbors and the EU state members. Greece and Cyprus should always count on our full solidarity,” she added.