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15 August, 2020
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Anastasiades fires back at Turkish FM's 'insolent' comments

The task is to suspend Turkey's unbridled ambition to impose its own version of international law, the President of the Republic of Cyprus said


Our task is to achieve the suspension of Turkey’s unbridled ambition to impose its own version of international law in order to serve its expansionist policies, President Nicos Anastasiades said Tuesday in response to what he described as “insolent” statements issued by the Turkish Foreign Minister on Monday.

During a joint press conference after meeting the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in Turkey’s capital on Monday, Melvut Cavusoglu said that “if the EU takes additional decisions against Turkey, we will have to respond to this,” referring to increasing calls for additional EU sanctions against Ankara in view of its energy designs in Cyprus’ maritime zones.

Responding to Cavusoglu’s comments, Anastasiades said that “what remains is for Europe to consider what its potential tolerance can breed.”

“Unfortunately, we are talking about a country that is an agitator and that seeks to bring the entirety of the Eastern Mediterranean under its control,” Anastasiades said, adding that “it is inconceivable and unacceptable, not just on the basis of international law, but also on the basis of established practices of friendly relations that should be seen among neighbouring countries.”

Responding to a question regarding the positions that Cyprus will hold at the upcoming EU foreign affairs council on July 13 and at the European Council, Anastasiades said “I think that so far you have been witnesses to the multiple efforts being exerted for coordination with Greece, France, and with other partners, with the task at hand being to achieve the suspension of Turkey’s unbridled ambition to impose its own international law to serve its expansionist policies.”

Asked to comment on what he believed Borrell meant when he said on Monday that a dialogue was being launched between the EU and Turkey, Anastasiades said “we will receive a detailed update once Borrell leaves Turkish territory. An initial briefing was made to the Foreign Minister, but for more details will have the opportunity to be informed at a later stage.”

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