Cyprus, Slovakia discuss Turkey provocations

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Turkey’s escalating provocations in Cyprus’ maritime zones and opening fenced-off Varosha topped discussions between Cypriot Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides and visiting Slovak counterpart Ivan Korcok.

Christodoulides in statements after Monday’s meeting expressed his appreciation for Slovakia’s unwavering position and indispensable support on the Cyprus problem, as well as its contribution to the bi-communal dialogue.

Referring to Turkey’s provocations, Christodoulides stressed that Ankara is blatantly disregarding calls by the international community to stop its illegal activity.

“The international community cannot remain idle, especially at this particular point in time when the UN Secretary-General is working to prepare the ground for re-launching negotiations, from where they were suspended in Crans Montana.”

The European Council in October declared its readiness to set EU-Turkey relations on a positive footing, provided that Ankara stopped violating the sovereign rights of Cyprus and Greece.

“In those same conclusions, the Council has additionally made it clear that it expects Turkey to support the speedy resumption of negotiations to resolve the Cyprus problem, under the auspices of the UN.”

“To date, Turkey’s response, unfortunately, has been at best disparaging on all fronts towards the EU. The European Council will assess the situation during its meeting on 10-11 December and take decisions as appropriate”,

Christodoulides thanked Slovakia, and the Foreign Minister, for the clear positions they have articulated on every occasion, on the need for the EU to act appropriately and effectively when its Member States are facing external threats and challenges.

“We also, of course, exchanged views on current issues from our European agenda, as well as on regional and international affairs and developments that are of common interest and concern.”

“We, therefore, reaffirmed our willingness to finalise negotiations on pending bilateral documents in the areas of security and defence, as well as in education.

“And to work together for the re-establishment of direct flights between Cyprus and Slovakia, as soon as conditions allow, to nurture people to people contacts and increase bilateral cooperation in tourism, business and trade.”