Costa at summit of southern EU countries dominated by tension in the Mediterranean
The Prime Minister, António Costa, participates today in Corsica, France, in the VII Summit of the Southern Countries of the European Union, this year marked by the current tension in the eastern Mediterranean in the face of the conflict between Greece and Turkey.
The “Med-7” meeting – designation of the informal forum that brings together France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus and Malta, since 2016 -, which will take place in Ajaccio Bay, will take place on the same day as Turkish delegations and Greece, countries ‘allied’ in NATO, will sit down today at the headquarters of the Atlantic Alliance, in Brussels, to try to reduce tension, which has already threatened a military escalation.
With France hosting a summit for the seven southern EU countries for the first time, the Elysee Palace indicates that the meeting “will be devoted mainly to Mediterranean issues” and, in the context of current “tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean”, it will be an opportunity “to advance the consensus on EU relations with Turkey, in particular with a view to the European Council of 24 and 25 September”, which has this topic at the top of the agenda.
Before the summit, French President Emmanuel Macron will have a bilateral meeting with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
Tensions between Turkey and Greece are likely to be a conflict over hydrocarbon exploitation in the Eastern Mediterranean, in an area that Ankara and Athens claim sovereignty.
To support Greece, Paris added warships and fighters to the region, in an initiative that was heavily criticized by Ankara.
In addition to this issue, the heads of state and government of the seven southern countries of the EU will discuss other major themes that mark the 2020-2021 political ‘rentrée’, such as the European economic recovery plan in the face of the covid-19 crisis, agreed on last July, the ‘Brexit’, at a moment when the scenario of the transition period ends without an agreement on future relations, and also the dossier on migration, is gaining strength.
This VII Summit of Southern EU Countries will be attended, in addition to Macron, Costa and Mitsotakis, the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, the Head of Italian, Giuseppe Conte, and the Prime Ministers of Cyprus and Malta, Nicos Anastasiades and Robert Abela, respectively.
This article is available in: Português