Nicosia tells EU Turkey prefers to escalate tensions

1 min read

Despite encouraging steps taken in the case of Greece, Turkey chooses to escalate tensions with Cyprus after the renewal of gas drills in Cypriot waters, Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides told the EU Foreign Affairs Council (FAC).

According to diplomatic sources, Christodoulides reminded his counterparts of the political understanding reached unanimously at last month’s Gymnich which stipulated the process of approving sanctions for Belarus and Turkey will move in parallel, with the aim of rapid adoption.

Nicosia argues that Brussels cannot have a selective response when international law is violated depending on who commits it.

“We should not only be engaged in discussions, but also implement EU decisions,” he was reported as saying.

Greece, France, Slovakia, Ireland, Luxembourg and Malta were among the countries that spoke at the debate and supported the implementation of the Gymnich political agreement, diplomatic sources told CNA.

Cyprus wants firm action against Turkey before approving moves over Belarus election fraud.

A separate discussion on current developments in Belarus took place during the Council, during which the Foreign Minister reiterated Cyprus’ strong support for the adoption of sanctions in response to the worrying situation in the country.

Diplomatic sources also said that the Foreign Minister was in favour of an even stronger tool of measures for Belarus, including sectoral sanctions.

Ministers agreed that the two issues should be referred to the leaders at the forthcoming European Council on Thursday.

Before the FAC meeting in Brussels, Christodoulides said: “The reaction of the EU to human rights violations, our reaction to violations of sovereignty and the sovereign rights of our EU Members States, our reaction to any kind of violation of our core values and principles should not be à la carte.” (source CNA)