Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday that the European Union is unlikely to impose sanctions on Ankara over its territorial claims in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

The EU has made it clear it fully supports its member states Greece and Cyprus in the dispute with Turkey. Officials in Brussels have warned they are drawing up potential sanctions if dialogue does not begin, amid a standoff over maritime areas thought to be rich in natural gas. Cavusoglu again said his country was open to talks without pre-conditions.

“France, Greece, and the Greek Cypriots want sanctions. The bloc may make a decision on September 24-25 to impose sanctions, which I do not expect, but could also take place. Similar things have happened in the past,” Cavusoglu said in an interview on NTV Turkey.

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