Turkey lifted its veto over Finland and Sweden applying to join NATO after the three nations agreed on Tuesday to protect each other's security, with some of terms potentially raising issues for Nicosia.
Following a breakthrough before a NATO summit began in Madrid on Tuesday, Helsinki and Stockholm got the green light from Turkey to proceed with their application to join the Western military alliance.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Turkey's presidency confirmed an accord in separate statements, with the agreement laying down the terms for Turkey to lift its veto over the applications.
'We have not fully withdrawn our call for sanctions (against Turkey), it is currently under technical evaluation' Kasoulides said
One of the terms calls on Finland and Sweden to “commit to support the fullest possible involvement of Türkiye” in EU security programs including PESCO, of which Ankara’s foe and non-NATO country Cyprus is a participating member.
Cypriot Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides told state radio on Wednesday that “Turkey has been asking for all these things for some time, and now NATO members who are in the European Union applauded this development.”
Asked if the agreement could pose problems fore the Republic of Cyprus, which had sought sanctions against Turkey in the past, Kasoulides said it was too early to tell.
"I made no commitment to any of these points, these developments took place only yesterday," the minister said.
But the Kasoulides, who has been critical of previous handlings by his predecessor to pressure EU leaders to sanction Ankara, pointed out Nicosia had not fully withdrawn its demand for sanctions.
“We have not fully withdrawn our call for sanctions (against Turkey), it is currently under technical evaluation," he said.
Cypriot former foreign minister and current presidential candidate Nikos Christodoulides had heavily pushed EU leaders to sanction Turkey but the effort collapsed due to resistance from some members.