President Nicos Anastasiades briefed on Sunday evening during a telephone conversation European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen of Turkey’s continued illegal actions in the Eastern Mediterranean region and has stressed the need for decisive measures at EU level.
In a written statement, issued on Sunday, Government Spokesperson Kyriacos Koushos said that they also discussed the multiannual financial framework and that President Anastasiades said the European Commission’s proposal is a good basis for discussion and outlined in depth the Republic of Cyprus’ positions and requests.
According to Koushos, he referred to Cyprus’ particularities due to is geographic position and the connectivity problems it faces as an island state as well as of the disproportionate migratory pressures it is faced with, asking the Commission to help the country deal with all these different challenges.
Cyprus’ President told the European Commission’s President that “the Cypriot economy, which is based on the sectors of tourism and services, has been significantly hit, pointing out the need of further support from the EU,” Koushos added.
President Anastasiades assured von der Leyen that Cyprus will constructively contribute in the efforts to reach a final agreement, recognizing the importance of reaching an agreement in time, he said.
On her part, the written statement continues, the European Commission’s President thanked President Anastasiades for Cyprus’ constructive position and congratulated him over the way the country dealt with the pandemic and handled the current situation.
President Anastasiades, briefed the European Commission President over recent developments in the Eastern Mediterranean region and continued Turkish violations within the Republic of Cyprus’ maritime zones, the Government Spokesperson noted.
He showed, Koushos continued, “Turkey’s destabilizing role on the Eastern Mediterranean, the illegal actions who place in danger the wider region’s security and stability and stressed the need for the EU to take more decisive measures so that the unacceptable Turkish goals can be deterred and for more pressure to be placed on Ankara, both to end its illegal drillings and to prevent any incidents which would undermine stability and security in the region.”
President Anastasiades also informed von der Leyen of the bilateral contacts he has had with EU member state leaders and European Institution leaders, adding that an understanding was reached as to the condemnation of Turkey’s illegal actions and the need for coordination and determination as the next steps forward, he said.
They also agreed to remain in contact regarding all current developments, the written statement concludes.
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 (ΕΕΖ) 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.