Cyprus expects Bulgaria to back EU sanctions against Turkey

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Nicosia counts on Bulgaria’s support to implement EU sanctions and finalise the list of persons and entities targeted for Turkey’s illegal drills off Cyprus, said Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides.

President Anastasiades is expected to pay an official visit to Bulgaria at the end of next month.

Christodoulides was in Bulgaria Friday amid an escalation of tension in the Eastern Mediterranean as Turkey plans new energy drills in Cyprus waters.

“As we all agreed in Brussels…we must expedite and finalize the work on the listing of persons and entities involved in these illegal activities. I very much count on the support of Bulgaria in the implementation of our collective decisions,” Christodoulides said after meeting Bulgarian counterpart Ekaterina Zaharieva, in Sofia.

“Unfortunately, Turkey’s illegal activities are detrimental to the efforts of the UN Secretary-General to create an environment that is conducive to the resumption of negotiations for a settlement to the Cyprus problem,” he added.

Cyprus and Bulgarian also reviewed the entire spectrum of bilateral cooperation and discussed concrete ways to further expand their ties.

“We have identified a number of fields, including trade, energy, investment, education, tourism and culture, as areas of special potential for further development,” Christodoulides said.

“I am convinced the official visit by President Anastasiades to Bulgaria, scheduled to take place at the end of next month, will build on the excellent foundations we have laid today and add to the already strong momentum of our efforts.”

Deliberations also touched upon a wide range of issues of mutual interest, including migration, and the European perspective of the Western Balkans, with the two sides reaffirming the importance they attach to maintaining the credibility of the EU vis-à-vis the European perspective of the countries of the region.