The EU must be ready to activate all its tools, including sanctions, against Turkey, French State Secretary for European Affairs Clément Beaune said Friday during a visit to Cyprus.
In statements after a meeting with Cyprus Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides, Βeaune reiterated his country`s full solidarity with Cyprus and the absolute convergence of views between the two countries.
He said that the Turkish provocations were unacceptable and that Europe’s solidarity should be demonstrated at the forthcoming European Council summit to take place in Brussels on September 24 and 25.
Beaune added that Cyprus also has the right to appeal to the International Court of Justice in case the issue is not resolved otherwise, but stressed that France believes that the EU should stand ready to use all the tools at its disposal, and of course to agree to sanctions, if developments are not positive.
Christodoulides said Beaune’s presence in Cyprus clearly demonstrates the decisive role that Paris plays in addressing common challenges, stressing that Turkey’s actions in the region are putting the EU’s abilities and credibility to the test, particularly as regards the protection of its vital interests and the sovereignty and sovereign rights of its member states.
The French State Secretary for European Affairs also met with the President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, who, according to the deputy government spokesperson, expressed complete satisfaction for the excellent relations between France and Cyprus, and for President Macron’s determined stance in the face of Turkey’s provocations.
Deputy spokesman Panayiotis Sentonas said Beaune and Anastasiades also discussed migration, the developing coronavirus situation and its financial repercussions.
Beaune referred to the solidarity the EU should show as regards the increasing migration influxes in Cyprus and said that the Commission should take appropriate decisions and measures.
Regarding the pandemic, he said that in the upcoming General and European Affairs Council in Brussels, the EU Ministers will examine how Member States can coordinate, organize and align their strategy for tourism and free movement amid the pandemic crisis.
Beaune extended an invitation to Christodoulides to visit Paris so that the in-depth discussion on all these issues can continue. The French State Secretary for European Affairs is expected in Athens on Friday afternoon for talks with Greek Premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis.