President Nicos Anastasiades said on Tuesday there is a broad concern in Europe, the region and in the US about the behaviour of Turkey.
In statements on the sidelines of a visit to the National Guard and Eldyk camps for Easter week, Anastasiades was asked about Ankara’s behaviour including its action in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
“What is important is our own calm attitude and behaviour, which absolutely complies with international law,” he said. “We are defending values and principles not only for us but for all Cypriots, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. What we are seeking and asking for is to reach co-understanding and not tension, to stay away from rhetorical statements that belong to other eras.”
Anastasiades said there was “a wider concern in Europe, our neighbouring countries and the US over behaviour that constantly pose a threat to peace,” he added.
Asked about his expectations from a dinner he will have with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci on April 16, Anastasiades hoped the latter would reflect on what he called on him to do, which was to see a change of mentality.
“In this way, there will be mutual respect and one community will not seek to gain privileges that will negatively affect the other community,” he added.
Anastasiades said the Greek Cypriot side aimed to see how the reunification of the island could be achieved through dialogue.
He added that as an EU member state, Cyprus could not accept anything less than what other EU citizens enjoy.
The president said the Greek Cypriot side would not make any concessions from these values and principles. It was necessary for both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots to realise that if full independence and sovereignty of the state is not safeguarded then “we will turn into a state subordinate to any third country which seeks the continuation of guarantees, intervention rights and the permanent presence of troops”.
Anastasiades and Akinci will have an informal meeting on April 16 at the residence of Elizabeth Spehar, UN deputy special advisor on Cyprus.