Borrell in Nicosia visit to discuss EU-Turkey relations

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EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell will hold meetings in Nicosia on June 25-26 to discuss Turkey’s illegal drilling activity off Cyprus and the future of Brussel’s relationship with Ankara.

The top diplomat will hold talks with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, Foreign Minister, Nikos Christodoulides, and Defence Minister, Savvas Angelides during his two-day visit.

Turkey’s illegal activities in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone and EU-Turkish relations are expected to be the focus of Borrell’s discussions in view of the EU Foreign Affairs Council on July 13.

Borrell will have a tete-a-tete with Christodoulides to be followed by extended talks between delegations of the two sides.

During Borrell’s meeting with the Defence Minister issues raised will relate to Nicosia’s participation in the Permanent Structured Cooperation that aims to deepen EU defence cooperation and the role of Cyprus in EU operations.

Borrell will fly to Cyprus from Athens where he will hold talks with the Greek government.

Turkish drillship Yavuz returned in April in the ΕΕΖ of Cyprus after Ankara announced another attempt to drill in blocks licensed to European oil and gas majors.

It is the sixth time Turkey has attempted to drill within the EEZ and continental shelf of Cyprus, this time in an area that covers exploration blocks 6 and 7 licensed to Italy’s Eni and France’s Total.