Nicosia says it is displeased over delays in reprimanding Turkey over actions in Varosha, while also expressing readiness to support punishing Ankara over its stance on migration.
EU High Representative Josep Borrell says an option paper on responses to Turkey will be presented before the next Foreign Affairs Council in December, following reports that Nicosia has been displeased over EU delays in moving forward to reprimand Ankara over Varosha and migration.
“Member States, once again, have expressed their strong solidarity with Cyprus. Now we have to convert this solidarity into concrete proposals on how to address the situation,” Borrell said.
But according to the Cyprus News Agency, Nicosia has expressed reservations whether a document including an option paper would be ready in time before mid-December’s foreign affairs meeting.
'We are ready to have very specific decisions... to be applied across the board... certainly not only Belarus… Turkey almost daily exploits human pain'
Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides was understood not to have ruled out the document would be ready, but its approval through a written procedure was said to be “a remote possibility.”
Borrell on Monday said there was agreement on procedure “so that they prepare the ground ahead of December’s Foreign Affairs Council, where this option paper, I can assure you, will be presented.”
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias also expressed hope on Monday that EU foreign ministers would clarify where the EU draws a red line regarding the island’s ghost town.
But Christodoulides also pointed fingers to Turkey on migration, expressing the view that Ankara should suffer similar consequences to Belarus over exploiting the issue.
The Cypriot minister went on to accuse Turkey of exploiting human suffering to gain leverage and reap political and other benefits from the European Union.
“We are ready to have very specific decisions taken to address this exploitation of human pain, decisions that will be applied across the board, having to do with all those states that promote this kind of approach, certainly not only Belarus… in the case of Cyprus, Turkey almost daily exploits human pain,” Christodoulides said.
Turkish aviation authorities have banned people from Syria, Iraq, and Yemen on flights to Mink, following pressure and criticism according to which Ankara was helping dump asylum seekers into Belarus who then crossed into other European countries.
Ankara remained adamant that Turkey was “not a party to this issue,” saying everything was being done in a transparent way.
But Christodoulides has kept the pressure on Turkey, according to CNA, while further making references to a “difficult situation in the country due to mass migrant arrivals through the occupied areas.”