In an official statement, the Council announced decision to suspend negotiations on the Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement and agreed not to hold the Association Council and further meetings of the EU-Turkey high-level dialogues for the time being.

Further escalating tensions among the EU and Turkey, the Turkish ship 'Yavuz' arrived last week, on Monday night, off the island of Cyprus set to drill for oil and gas, triggering a strong protest from Nicosia the EU.

The EU reiterated this week the serious immediate negative impact of these actions in EU-Turkey relations and called again on Turkey to refrain from such actions and 'respect the sovereign rights of Cyprus in accordance with international law'.

Despite the European Union's repeated calls to cease its illegal activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey continued its drilling operations west of Cyprus and launched a second drilling operation northeast of Cyprus within Cypriot territorial waters,

...the EU said in an official statement.

Welcoming the invitation by the Government of Cyprus to negotiate with Turkey, the Council noted that delimitation of exclusive economic zones and continental shelf should be addressed through dialogue and negotiation in good faith, in full respect of international law and in accordance with the principle of good neighbourly relations.

The Council endorses the Commission’s proposal to reduce the pre-accession assistance to Turkey for 2020 and invites the European Investment Bank to review its lending activities in Turkey, notably with regard to sovereign-backed lending.

In accordance with the European Council conclusions of 20 June, the Council further invited the High Representative and the Commission to continue work on options for targeted measures in light of Turkey’s continued drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Another Turkish vessel, 'Fatih', has been on the west of Cyprus, in an area Cyprus claims is its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), since early May.