Cyprus lobbies for EU support at summit

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Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades will meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Brussels on Thursday as Nicosia goes on a diplomatic offensive to buffer Turkey’s actions in the East Med.

Germany currently holds the EU presidency and Anastasiades is sounding out leaders ahead of the European Council summit taking place on July 17-18.

Anastasiades is expected to raise at the Council the issue of Turkey’s illegal gas drilling in Cyprus waters.

He will also participate in Thursday’s European People’s Party conference which precedes the European Council summit.

“There is a conscious effort on the part of Turkey to present its illegal behaviour in the Eastern Mediterranean purportedly to protect Turkish Cypriot rights,” Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides said.

He said it is well known to everyone how Turkey behaves not only toward Cyprus but also as regards the Eastern Mediterranean.

“We speak with all EU member states.”

On Wednesday, Anastasiades met the UN head of mission, Elizabeth Spehar to discuss the UNSG draft report on the peace process.

He pointed out that the aggressive behaviour of Turkey in escalating tension was negatively affecting the prospect of dormant peace talks.

“Therefore, the President outlined concrete remarks and the general framework that needs to be created so that there will be prospects for the resumption of the talks,” Christodoulides said.

He said that the discussion with Spehar was “open, frank and helpful” in efforts to outline things as they really are.