Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades highlighted a need for a decisive EU stance towards Turkey, while praising his French counterpart for showing “practical and stable support” towards Cyprus.
Anastasiades spoke about Turkish provocations on Thursday in Corsica, during the MED7 group of southern European countries, hosted by French President Emanuel Macron.
The group expressed its full support and solidarity towards Greece and the Republic of Cyprus in light of Turkish activities in the eastern Mediterranean.
The Cypriot president, who praised Macron for the French president’s “practical and stable support” towards Cyprus, also said he was pleased with leaders from Mediterranean states who appeared to be ready to put to use their own influence to exert pressure on Turkey.
“I was particularly pleased to find that friend leaders of Mediterranean states will use their own relations and exert influence towards Turkey, so that it can understand it ought to stop illegal activities and cooperate through an honest and comprehensive dialogue always on the basis of international law to find solutions that will benefit our peoples,” Anastasiades said.
'I was particularly pleased to find that friend leaders of Mediterranean states will use their own relations and exert influence towards Turkey'
Macron spoke of Turkey’s “destabilizing role” in the region, adding that “if we don’t wake up, the Mediterranean will turn into an area of hegemonic confrontations.”
“We expressed our will, which we will reiterate at the European Council, so that a responsible dialogue can begin for a solution. We know that this dialogue is hard and we are not naive, but we want a dialogue in good faith,” the French president said.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriacos Mitsotakis said after the meeting that the MED7 leaders discussed stability in the Eastern Mediterranean and “the manner in which Turkey is questioning the sovereign rights of two EU member states, indeed continuing to illegally occupy territory of one of them, namely Cyprus, and at the same time is openly distancing itself from any effort for sincere understanding.”
Mitsotakis said the conclusions of the meeting send clear messages and show Turkey the way.
In its text of conclusions, the MED7 said all countries must comply with International Law of the Sea and resolve differences through dialogue.
The seven leaders - of Greece, Cyprus, France, Italy, Malta, Portugal and Spain - also welcomed the mediation efforts of EU High Representative Josep Borrell and Germany, with a view to continuing the dialogue between Greece and Turkey on the issue of the Maritime Zones.