Nicos Christodoulides has called “collective action” by the EU on the basis of the EU Treaties’ provisions over Turkey’s actions within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Republic of Cyprus
He was speaking during the EU Foreign Affairs Council meeting in Brussels.
According to diplomatic sources who spoke to the CNA, Christodoulides talked towards the end of the meeting and his positions were supported by France, Greece and other countries as well as the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, who said that she speaks on behalf of everyone and stressed that “this time we have to act with determination”.
Christodoulides presented to his counterparts the state of affairs and the latest developments regarding the escalation of the Turkish provocation within the Republic of Cyprus, with the attempted drilling in violation of the sovereign rights of Cyprus and of European and international law.
“The situation requires collective and concrete action by the Union on the basis of the provisions of the EU Treaties and the joint statements of the Union on this subject,” he said.
In this context, he stressed that with its actions, Turkey does not act against the Republic of Cyprus energy plans, but against the interests of the whole EU.
“Turkey has rejected dialogue and international legitimacy”, Christodoulides said noting that Cyprus has “repeatedly called on Turkey to start talks on the delimitation of maritime zones, a proposal it rejected.
In addition, he stated that “neither the messages sent by the EU and our partners in a spirit of solidarity seem to have been heard so far by Turkey. To the contrary, Ankara continues its provocative actions a few weeks before and since the adoption of the Progress Report in relation to its accession course and in violation of the commitments it has made towards the Union”, he stressed.
“As the High Representative has said at the press conference today, the EU continues to be very concerned about Turkey’s actions and calls on Turkey to show restraint, to respect the sovereign rights of Cyprus in its EEZ and to abstain from any such illegal action in which, as she said, the EU will respond in an appropriate manner and in full solidarity with Cyprus, something that was stressed as the Foreign Ministers’ clear position today in full solidarity with Cyprus, ” the Foreign Minister said.
It should be noted that, on the margins of the meeting, the Foreign Minister had separate discussions on this issue, among others, with Mogherini, the Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Johannes Hahn, the Greek Foreign Minister George Katrougalos and the Croatian Foreign Minister Marija Pejčinović Burić.
The Council’s agenda included a series of issues related to the EU`s external relations. In particular, the Foreign Ministers exchanged views on the situation in Venezuela, the latest developments in relation to Iran`s nuclear program agreement, and the current developments in Libya and the Sahel region.
Christodoulides also attended the meeting of the EU Foreign Ministers and the countries participating in the Eastern Partnership (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine) on the occasion of its 10th anniversary. On the sidelines of the Eastern Partnership meeting, the minister had a bilateral meeting with Azerbaijan`s Foreign Minister.