President Nicos Anastasiades has welcomed the solidarity expressed by the leaders of European People’s Party (EPP) on the issue of Turkey’s illegal actions in the Eastern Mediterranean.
“Full support and solidarity by our EPP partners, strongly condemning Turkey’s illegal operations and hostile rhetoric in the Eastern Mediterranean,” the President posted on his twitter account, after a videoconference with EPP leaders on Wednesday. He also wrote that EPP leaders stressed the need for a more decisive response by the EU.
Full support and solidarity by our @EPP partners, strongly condemning Turkey's illegal operations and hostile rhetoric in the Eastern Mediterrenean, as well as the need for a more decisive response by the #EU.
— Nicos Anastasiades (@AnastasiadesCY) June 17, 2020
In another post, Anastasiades referred to a very productive meeting of EPP with the party’s partners of Eastern Partnership countries in view of today’s video conference with participation of EU and Eastern Partnership leaders.
“Thank you President Donald Tusk for a very productive meeting of EPP with our partners of Eastern Partnership Countries in view of our Summit tomorrow,” President Anastasiades posted.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.
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 sixth 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.