Cyprus is ready for dialogue with Turkey to settle differences in the Eastern Mediterranean, but not against the background of “provocations” of Ankara, said today the president of the island state Nikos Anastasiadis, reports Reuters.
“Yesterday, unfortunately, the Turkish NAVTEX (Navigation Notification of Naval Exercises in a specific maritime area. – Red.) was extended for illegal drilling (Turkish) ship Yavuz. At the same time, a number of initiatives aimed at stopping the illegal activities of Ankara and de-escalation in the region continue,” Anastasiadis said after meeting with European Council President Charles Michel in Nicosia.
At the same time, the Cypriot president drew the attention of European partners to the ongoing Turkish provocations in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.
On Tuesday, Turkey extended the operations of its drilling ship Yavuz in the disputed waters of the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Cyprus until October 12.
As reported by TP, EU relations with Turkey are at a turning point, said EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrel on September 15. At the same time, the head of European diplomacy urged Ankara to give up a confrontation with Greece and Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean and to think about protecting human rights on its territory. “The EU and Turkish ties are at a turning point in history that could go one way or another, depending on what happens in the coming days,” Borrel said in his speech to the European Parliament.
Turkey does not expect sanctions from the EU because of its dispute with Greece in the Eastern Mediterranean, Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said the day before on September 14. Brussels earlier said it fully supported EU member states Greece and Cyprus in their dispute with Turkey and said it was developing potential sanctions against Ankara if it does not enter into dialogue with Athens. The EU is expected to decide on anti-Turkish sanctions during its upcoming summit on September 24-25. Cavusoglu reiterated that Ankara was open to negotiations without preconditions, but added that the Oruç Reis research vessel would soon resume operations after it anchored off Turkey’s southern coast last Sunday.
Recall that Turkey is claiming certain maritime areas under an agreement that it signed with the Government of National Accord of Libya in November 2019. Last month, Greece and Egypt concluded their own agreement to delineate their exclusive economic zones in the Eastern Mediterranean, which led to an increased escalation in the region. Greece insists that it has exclusive rights to operate in those areas of the Mediterranean where Turkey is trying to conduct test drilling in search of new oil and gas fields. Ankara, in turn, refers to the terms of the agreement concluded with the UN-recognized Libyan government in Tripoli.