CYPRUS: Nicosia satisfied with EU sanctions against Turkey

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Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades said he is satisfied with a decision by the EU Foreign Affairs Council to adopt targeted sanctions as a response to Turkey’s incursion in the island’s exclusive economic zone.

In a tweet, President Anastasiades said he was satisfied with the EU decision as it “supports the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus and legality in Cyprus seas”.

Government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou issued a written statement, noting that the decision activates previous political decisions and expresses solidarity with Cyprus and support on behalf of its partners.

Prodromou said it was a very important decision which strengthens the efforts of Cyprus to defend its rights against Turkey’s aggression.

He hoped that these measures would contribute towards Turkey, realising that it cannot continue to violate international law and the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus.

The sanctions consist of a travel ban to the EU and an asset freeze for persons, and an asset freeze for entities. In addition, EU persons and entities will be forbidden from making funds available to those listed.

Brussels has repeatedly called on Turkey to “cease its illegal activities in the Eastern Mediterranean” but Ankara has continued its drilling operations within Cypriot territorial waters.

In July the European Council said there was a “serious immediate negative impact that such illegal actions have across the range of EU-Turkey relations”.

It has urged Turkey to “refrain from such actions, act in a spirit of good neighbourliness and respect the sovereignty and sovereign rights of Cyprus in accordance with international law”.

Turkey insists it has every right to continue its energy drills in the region and does not recognise Cyprus’ EEZ.