Cyprus’ Government Spokesman, Kyriacos Koushos, said on Monday that the EU lacks the courage to assume a substantive role in regards to developments in the Eastern Mediterranean and implement preventive policies, noting that the road ahead to assert the Republic of Cyprus’ rights will be difficult and long.
In statements at the Presidential Palace, Koushos noted that “we see the EU reacting, we have seen the statements made by Josep Borell” which “satisfy us. However we consider that the policy of appeasing Turkey and the policy of sending messages of solidarity are not enough to prevent Turkey’s illegal activities”.
He noted that the EU must have a more intense, substantive presence in the Eastern Mediterranean, which constitutes the Eastern borders of Europe, the borders of two EU member states – Cyprus and Greece. “Unfortunately, we see a lack of courage by the EU to assume a substantive role and implement preventive policies”, he added.
Koushos said that there has been an intense diplomatic activity during the recent period as regards the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean due to the illegal and unlawful behaviour of Turkey, which continues its drilling programmes within Cyprus’ EEZ and has issued a new Navtex concerning our EEZ, with Turkish drillship Yavuz continuing its programmes.
Moreover, he noted that Turkey also questions the Greek continental shelf.
He said that through the diplomatic efforts and the policy we have been following we believe that the international community and the EU will realise that the unlawful policy of Turkey, its destabilising role, and its illegal activities will not be accepted.
Koushos said that “we continue through diplomacy to insist in our positions” and noted other reactions that have begun to become clear.
He said that for the first time, newspapers such as the “Guardian” and the “Times” have reports on Turkey and the behaviour of its President, referring to a ‘bully’ President and to its unlawful actions.
He said that the intense diplomatic efforts by Cyprus and Greece have begun to bear fruit, adding however that “we are not satisfied by the results”.
Koushos reiterated that the primary goal of President Nicos Anastasiades and the government is to solve the Cyprus problem through a settlement that will be in accordance with the UN resolutions and will be viable and functional, within the framework of the bizonal, bicommunal federation and what has already been agreed.
He expressed the hope that Turkey will at last take the messages and if not then European partners and the international community will react in a way that will create cost to Turkey, with measures that will prevent Turkey’s illegal acts of piracy.