President Nicos Anastasiades expressed absolute satisfaction with the Conclusions of the European Council regarding Turkey’s activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.
“Taking into account the stated position of a small number of member states, which without ignoring the systematic misconduct of Turkey, consider that diplomatic dialogue is the appropriate path, and not sectoral sanctions, I must say that I am fully satisfied with the European Council Conclusions on the Eastern Mediterranean,” the President of the Republic of Cyprus said.
The bloc’s leaders agreed on Thursday to prepare limited sanctions on Turkish individuals over an energy exploration dispute with Greece and Cyprus, postponing any harsher steps until March.
President Anastasiades stated that paragraph 28 states and reiterates that, despite its claims to the contrary, Turkey is involved in unilateral and provocative actions while simultaneously escalating its rhetoric against the EU, its member states and European leaders.
The Conclusion also acknowledge Turkey’s ongoing provocation in the Republic’s EEZ, and call on Turkey to de-escalate tensions, Anastasiades said.
Paragraph 29 of the Conclusions, the President went on, states that a positive approach to relations between the EU and Turkey can still be maintained, on condition that Turkey shows honest readiness to settle difference through dialogue and on the basis of international law. A positive approach is also contingent on Turkey’s implementation of its commitments to other EU member states on matters of migration.
Paragraph 30, Anastasiades said, along with the European Council’s Conclusions on October 1 and 2, reiterates the determination of the EU to defend the interests of the bloc in order to achieve regional stability.
“Toward this end - and this is important - the EU Council is called upon to adopt additional actions, such as additional sanctions against persons, based on the Decision of November 11, 2019, due to Turkey’s ongoing drilling activities in the Cypriot EEZ.”
The Conclusions also condemn Turkey’s unilateral actions in Varosha, and call upon Turkey to fully comply with UN Resolutions 550 and 789, Anastasiades added.
"At the same time, the European Council reiterates its support for a speedy resumption of negotiations, under the auspices of the UN, and remains fully committed to a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem within the parameters of the United Nations and in accordance with the Cyprus-related Resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council,” President Anastasiades stressed.
Mitsotakis: Turkey must give up ‘provocative behavior’ or be hit with sanctions
EU leaders have sent a strict warning to Turkey over its drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Friday, adding that the country is certain to face sanctions unless it gives up its “provocative behavior.”
“Sanctions [against Turkey] are not an end in itself,” Mitsotakis said, however adding that the EU will respond with penalties “if Turkey insists on continuing with this provocative behavior.”
“Turkey is expected to change its ways and it has been understood that Europe is moving, if at its own pace, it is united, it supports Greece and Cyprus, it is present,” he said.
Erdogan says next EU summit cannot take steps against Turkey
President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday that “reasonable countries” in the European Union had thwarted efforts against Turkey at a summit this week and the next meeting of EU leaders in March would not yield results that hurt Ankara.
“Our rights must be granted. There are now many rights that EU member states must grant Turkey,” Erdogan told reporters after Friday prayers. “Reasonable countries in the EU thwarted this game by showing a positive stance,” he added, referring to Greek, French and Cypriot demands to sanction Turkey.