In a mixed outcome for Cyprus, EU leaders agreed on a dual approach towards Turkey for its actions in the Eastern Mediterranean, maintaining the option of sanctions while monitoring developments until December.
Cyprus had pushed for a tougher stance at the EU summit against Turkey as it continues drilling for gas in Cypriot waters.
It had held up agreeing sanctions over Belarus election fraud as leverage for ‘tangible action’ against Turkey.
It seems a compromise was reached with the European Council keeping its options open.
“Pursuing dialogue in good faith and abstaining from unilateral actions which run counter to the EU interests and violate international law and the sovereign rights of EU Member States is an absolute requirement in this regard,” said a Council statement.
In this context, the European Council reiterates its full solidarity with Greece and Cyprus, whose sovereignty and sovereign rights must be respected,” it added.
The EU welcomed the recent confidence-building by Greece and Turkey, as well as the announcement that they will resume their direct exploratory talks aiming at the delimitation of the Continental Shelf and Exclusive Economic Zone of the two countries.
“These efforts need to be sustained and broadened.”
The EU 27 strongly condemned violations of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus “which must stop.”
They called on Turkey to accept the invitation by Cyprus to engage in dialogue with the objective of settling all maritime-related disputes between them.
“The European Council will continue to closely monitor developments and will revert accordingly and take decisions as appropriate at the latest at its December meeting.