1. French President Emmanuel Macron has warned Turkey to stop its “illegal activities” in Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone, making clear that offshore drilling for natural gas is the sovereign prerogative of the island nation.

    “I want to reiterate my solidarity with Cyprus and support and respect for its sovereignty. Turkey must stop its illegal activities in Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone,” Macron said while adding that “the EU will not show any weakness” when dealing with the Turkish government’s provocations in the Eastern Mediterranean

    Macron’s statement came while he was in the Maltese capital Valetta with six other leaders for a Southern European summit. In a common declaration issued after the summit, Spain, Greece, Italy, Malta, Portugal, and France all asserted their solidarity with Cyprus against increasing pressure from the Turkish government.

    Turkey’s Islamist President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said on multiple occasions that he plans to set up drilling operations in the Cypriot exclusive economic zone in an area that is approximately 40 nautical miles west of Paphos, on the southwest coast of Cyprus.

    “We express our deep regret that Turkey has not responded to the European Union’s repeated calls condemning Turkey’s illegal continued actions in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea and express serious concern over actual or potential drilling activities within Cyprus’ EEZ,” the joint statement by the six Mediterranean nations read.

    Asserting increasing political coordination among the six Mediterranean states, Macron also spoke of the need for a Eurozone budget, an idea resisted by The Netherlands and Germany, both net contributors to the EU budget.

  2. “We need a stability function for the Eurozone {and} a European guarantee for deposits,” Macron asserted.

    In a statement to Daily Sabah, the pro-government mouthpiece that is often used by Turkish officials to express Ankara’s opinions on key matters, Erdogan lashed out angrily at Macron, saying “Those who have the right to speak about the Eastern Mediterranean can speak. When did France have the right to speak on the Eastern Mediterranean? Do they have a coastline here?”