Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said Tuesday that Ankara will not hesitate to push migrants from Afghanistan to the EU and that the management of Afghanistan issue should not allowed to become a “Trojan horse” to justify Turkey’s actions in the region, speaking at the EU informal Summit in the form of a dinner in Slovenia, on the situation in Afghanistan.
According to a Presidency’s press release, during the dinner, the 27 EU Heads of State and Government discussed recent geopolitical developments, including in Afghanistan, the Indo-Pacific and EU-China relations.
In his address on Developments in Afghanistan, the President of the Republic of Cyprus stressed the importance of EU assistance in addressing the serious humanitarian and economic crisis in the country, as well as ensuring respect for basic human rights. He also stressed the need for EU to support international programs aimed at promoting women`s rights and girls` education in Afghanistan.
Referring in particular to the concerns about a new migration crisis affecting the EU, in the event that the situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate, the President of the Republic suggested the provision of assistance to the countries immediately adjacent to Afghanistan, which are called upon to host Afghan refugees.
At the same time, he warned that dependencies on countries such as Turkey which, as it turns out, were instrumentalizing migrants in order to reap other benefits should be avoided.
He reminded that Cyprus and other countries were facing the serious consequences of the instrumentalization of the immigration issue by Turkey and that the role that the country is presenting to have, as a barrier to new migration flows to the EU, should not deceive anyone.
The President added that because of its actions in the recent past, “we are well aware that Turkey will not hesitate to push migrants, this time from Afghanistan, in order to reap benefits, despite its clear obligation under the 2016 Declaration to stop the flow of migrants.
The EU, the President said, should be very careful, as the management of Afghanistan issues cannot and should not be allowed to end up into a “Trojan horse” to justify the role of geopolitical bully sought by today`s Turkey.
In addition, President Anastasiades argued in favor of strengthening the EU`s strategic autonomy in the field of security and defense, which will help it to become much more effective in crisis management on the international stage.
The President of the Republic supported the views recently expressed by the President of the French Republic Emanuel Macron, on the need of a strong and strategically autonomous EU, which is a reliable, measurable and predictable partner. He also said he was in favor of increasing EU’s defense capacity in order to act whenever necessary and to defend its interests, such as those in the crucial Mediterranean basin.