Cyprus calls for swift EU action against Turkey

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Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades briefed European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen of Turkey’s continued illegal actions in the Eastern Mediterranean calling for decisive EU measures.

President Anastasiades briefed the European Commission President on recent developments in the Eastern Mediterranean region and continued Turkish violations within Cyprus’ maritime zones.

He raised the issue of “Turkey’s destabilizing role on the Eastern Mediterranean, the illegal actions endanger the wider region’s security and stability,” said a statement.

A government statement also said that Anastasiades “stressed the need for the EU to take more decisive measures so that unacceptable Turkish goals can be deterred and for more pressure to be placed on Ankara, both to end its illegal drillings and to prevent any incidents which would undermine stability and security in the region.”

President Anastasiades also informed von der Leyen of the bilateral contacts he has had with other EU leaders, adding that an understanding was reached as to Turkey’s condemnable illegal actions and the need for coordination and determination as the next steps forward.

Nicosia told the European Commission President that “the Cypriot economy, which is based on the sectors of tourism and services, has been significantly hit (by Coronavirus), pointing out the need of further support from the EU”.

Von der Leyen congratulated President Anastasiades over the way the country dealt with the pandemic and handled the current situation.

They also agreed to remain in contact regarding all current developments, the written statement said.

Turkey has made six attempts to drill within the EEZ and continental shelf of Cyprus, the most recent is in an area that covers part of exploration blocks 6 and 7, licensed to energy majors ENI and TOTAL

Brussels has imposed limited sanctions on Turkey for its drilling activity off Cyprus.