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Nicosia awaits EU council decisions on Turkey 15

Nicos Anastasiades expressed on Tuesday his satisfaction over the decision of EU Foreign Ministers with regard to Turkey’sdrilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean and said he expected the European Council to endorse sanctions in its upcoming meeting.

Anastasiades, prior to attending a reception at the residence of the Greek Ambassador in Nicosia, expressed full satisfaction over the decisions taken by the Council of EU Foreign Ministers on Monday.

“I expect the heads of states at the European Council to endorse the sanctions adopted,” he said.

EU Foreign Affairs Ministers called on the EU High Representative and the Commission to swiftly present proposals to counteract Turkey’s drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean, after agreeing on Monday in Luxembourg that “a framework regime of restrictive measures targeting natural and legal persons responsible for or involved in the drilling activity of hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean is put in place.”

A navtex warned all those working on Yavuz and its supporting vessels that they would face consequences and an international arrest warrant would be issued against them

Agenda highlights for the European Council 17-18 October include discussion on long-term EU budget, follow-up discussion on the strategic agenda, climate, and Brexit, while the other items on the agenda will fall under “foreign policy issues” as brought up by EU leaders.

According to a navigational telex (navtex) issued by Turkey, Turkish drillship Yavuz was to carry out drilling operations inside block 7, located off the south-western coast of Cyprus. Block 7 was also recently licensed by the government of Cyprus to France’s Total and Italy’s ENI for drilling operations.

Cyprus has called on Yavuz and its supporting vessels to immediately cease actions in the Republic’s Exclusive Economic Zone. A navtex issued by state authorities and published on the website of the Joint Rescue and Coordination Centre (JRCC) in Larnaca, also warned all those working on Yavuz and its supporting vessels that they would face consequences and an international arrest warrant would be issued against them.

Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said on Tuesday that the aim during the forthcoming European Council was the solidarity of Cyprus’ partner states to act in a deterrent way against destabilizing Turkish moves.

A written statement by the Cypriot Foreign Ministry welcomed the “Foreign Affairs Council unanimous decision to impose a regime of sanctions against natural and legal persons responsible for or involved in Turkey`s activities within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus.”

Anastasiades described the EU decisions as “very significant” during a President’s Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, while a day earlier, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry rejected and condemned them, saying Ankara was prepared to examine its cooperation with the EU on certain areas due to its “unlawful and biased” attitude.

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