Cyprus is among the countries considered to be safe destinations for German citizens, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday, during a telephone conversation with President Nicos Anastasiades, whom she congratulated for Cyprus’ positive results during the pandemic.
According to a written statement by Deputy Government Spokesman, Panayiotis Sentonas, President Anastasiades also informed the Chancellor about Turkey’s illegal activities in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and the broader region.
The two leaders discussed ongoing developments in relation to the coronavirus pandemic and exchanged views about the EU’s Multiannual Financial Framework, as well as the Recovery Fund, that are under discussion, Sentonas said.
In this framework, President Anastasiades congratulated Chancellor Merkel for her joint initiative with French President Macron, which played a constructive role in shaping the relevant European Commission proposal, he went on.
According to the Deputy Government Spokesman, the President of Cyprus informed Merkel of Cyprus’ effective handling of the pandemic and the current epidemiological condition, which allow Cyprus to welcome foreign tourists. The President also underlined the importance of bilateral synergies to support tourism, a key sector for the Cypriot economy.
“Merkel congratulated President Anastasiades for Cyprus’ positive results and informed him that Cyprus is among the countries considered to be safe destinations for German citizens” it is noted.
The President also discussed with the German Chancellor Turkey’s continuous illegal activities, both in the EEZ of Cyprus, as well as in the broader region, Sentonas said. During the conversation, President Anastasiades elaborated on the range of negative consequences, as well as on the destabilizing character of Turkey’s illegal activities, the Deputy Spokesman added.
According to the written statement, the two leaders arrived at a common understanding about the role the EU must play, which needs to continue monitoring Turkish actions closely, acting decisively while insisting on the implementation of its decisions and demonstrating its practical solidarity.
The President of Cyprus and the German Chancellor agreed the two countries to stay in close contact and consultation, on all levels, ahead of the German Presidency of the Council of the EU, the Deputy Government Spokesman concluded.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Turkey has ignored numerous UN resolutions calling for the withdrawal of the Turkish troops and respect of the integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus.
Turkish drill ship “Yavuz” arrived last April in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus, after Ankara announced another attempt to drill a well in blocks licensed to European companies. This is the 6th time Turkey attempts to drill within the EEZ and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus, this time in an area that covers part of exploration blocks 6 and 7, which have been licensed to ENI and TOTAL.
In a statement on May 15, EU Foreign Ministers deplored the fact that Turkey has not yet responded to EU calls to cease such activities and reiterated their call on Ankara to show restraint, refrain from such actions, and respect the sovereignty and sovereign rights of Cyprus, in accordance with international law. EU Foreign Ministers also reaffirmed previous Council and European Council conclusions, notably those of June 2019 and October 2019 on Turkey’s continued illegal activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.