Spain backs Cyprus in East Med dispute

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Spain’s Foreign Affairs Minister Arancha González Laya said her country supported Cyprus in the face of tensions with Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean while it denounced any unilateral action.

She said Spain rejects unilateral moves and any long-lasting solution can only be found through dialogue.

After meeting Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides, Laya said her visit to Nicosia is “very clearly meant to send a signal…of solidarity, of support to Cyprus in the face of tensions. Tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean region. Tensions with Turkey.”

“We do not believe that there is a unilateral solution to the problems of the Eastern Mediterranean region.

Therefore, we reject unilateral moves that are not helping in finding a long-lasting solution.

The only avenue for a long-lasting solution is through negotiations, is through dialogue, which is what Spain has been advocating between Greece and Turkey and which Spain advocates between Cyprus and Turkey.”

“Negotiations and dialogue to delineate maritime borders”, this is exactly what Spain practices.

Christodoulides said he briefed the Spanish Foreign minister  “on Turkey’s escalating provocations, as well as the extension of its illegal drilling operation”.

“It is clear that these actions threaten our collective EU interests and the stability of the region.”

He said the departure Turkey survey vessel Oruc Reic from the Greek continental shelf was a positive first step.

“Unfortunately, signals of de-escalation have not been extended to Cyprus,” said Christodoulides.

“On the contrary, in Cyprus’s maritime zones we are witnessing escalation, and disregard by Turkey of the repeated, collective EU calls to terminate its illegal actions  and respect the sovereignty and sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus, a Member State of the European Union.”

On Thursday EU leaders will hold a crucial on Turkey in Brussel where possible sanctions will be discussed.

“Cyprus looks to the EU and its partners for solidarity in action. Concretely upholding our common values and interests.”