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Christodoulides: Turkey Chooses Further Escalation In The Case Of Cyprus

Christodoulides: Turkey Chooses Further Escalation In The Case Of Cyprus

Foreign Minister of Cyprus Nikos Christodoulides says that Turkey chooses to further escalate tension in the case of Cyprus. In an interview with Greek website iefimerida.gr, Christodoulides underlines that the renewal by Ankara of an illegal navigational telex or NAVTEX, regarding Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), is indicative of Turkish intentions. European sanctions related to Turkey’s illegal activities in Cyprus’ EEZ need to proceed immediately, the Minister said.

“In the case of Cyprus, I remind you that only two days ago, Turkey’s NAVTEX regarding illegal drilling operations in a block licensed by the Republic of Cyprus had expired and (Ankara) went on to renew it until October 12. This indicates (Turkey’s) clear intentions, at a time when there is an initiative, also for the termination of its unlawful activities in the Cyprus’ EEZ. Thus, it is clear that in the case of Cyprus (Turkey) chooses further escalation, in contrast with what it happening in the case of Oruc Reis”, Christodoulides said, pointing to the recent withdrawal of a Turkish drill ship operating in the Eastern Mediterranean.

As regards Cyprus’ expectations from the European Council, to be held on 24-25 September, the Foreign Minister explained that the case for sanctions is twofold. The first aspect is related to Turkey’s illegal actions in Cyprus, which are still ongoing, he explained. For that, there is a political decision from 2019 and there is also a relevant legal framework for targeted measures against those taking part in these illegal actions.

Christodoulides went on to say that a second aspect is related to the discussion held at the Foreign Affairs Council, last summer, in response to the escalation of Turkish illegal actions, also against Greece. “EU Foreign Ministers called on the High Representative to present a list of potential sectoral sanctions against Turkey. That is, sanctions against the country itself. There has already been an oral presentation by Borrell during the course of Gymnich, and now we are expecting the presentation of the relevant document before the Heads of State” he added.

Minister Christodoulides reiterated that the Republic of Cyprus aims at the resumption settlement talks from the point at which they were left off at Crans Montana and underlined a recent reference by the UN Secretary-General, that negotiations need to take place amid an appropriate environment, away from tensions, in order to have good prospects to succeed.

Asked finally about the possibility of convening a five-party Conference on Cyprus, Christodoulides said that the Republic of Cyprus wishes to have substantial negotiations, in a composition similar to that at Crans Montana. “I remind you that during the last negotiation process there was EU participation in discussions, both for the internal aspects and at discussions for the external aspects” of the Cyprus Issue, he said, noting that this contributed substantially to reach important convergences.

Source: CNA


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