EU’s Michel says cat-and-mouse game with Turkey must end

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A game of “cat-and-mouse” between the European Union and Turkey needs to come to an end, European Council President Charles Michel said on Friday, in reference to a dispute over natural gas resources in the eastern Mediterranean, Reuters reported.

“The game of cat and mouse must end,” Michel told a news conference, as Turkey again withdrew an exploration vessel from disputed waters ahead of an EU summit on Dec. 10 that is set to discuss possible sanctions on Turkey.

“In October, we defined a positive agenda, we reached out our hand,” said Michel, who chairs EU summits. “Turkey must stop its provocations, its hostile rhetoric,” he said.

The EU’s attempts to persuade Ankara to stop exploring waters disputed by Greece and Cyprus have failed. But the bloc has so far refrained from imposing the sanctions that Athens and Nicosia are seeking.

Earlier this week the Turkish seismic survey ship Oruç Reis, searching for potential hydrocarbon reserves in disputed waters in the eastern Mediterranean, returned to port, prompting a warm but reserved response from Germany before the EU summit on December 10-11.

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