By Staff Reporter
PRESIDENT Nicos Anastasiades will meet British Prime Minister David Cameron, during his visit to Brussels where the Cypriot president will raise the issue of Turkey’s violation of the island’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
Anastasiades departed on Wednesday morning for Brussels in order to participate in the European Council meeting on Thursday and Friday where he is due to denounce Turkey’s actions.
During his stay in Brussels, Anastasiades will begin the implementation of the measures decided on Tuesday by the National Council in response to the continuing violation of the sovereign rights of the Republic.
On the sidelines of the Council, Anastasiades will protest Turkey’s moves and put forward positions to European leaders with a view to condemning Ankara’s illegal actions.
Government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides told CNA that Nicosia had already informed the European Council of Anastasiades’ intention to brief the body on Turkey’s provocative stance.
The European Council’s agenda is drafted around three months prior to the meeting and for urgent issues, there is a part in the agenda for ‘any other issues’.
The European Council has accepted the request made by the Cypriot government for an intervention on the part of the meeting.
In addition, Anastasiades will participate in the Summit of the European People’s Party (EPP) which will also take place in Brussels with EU and non-EU heads of state and government and opposition leaders of the EPP, along with the Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission, Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso.
European Commissioner in charge of EU enlargement and neighbourhood policies Stefan Füle has said it was time to de-escalate tensions between Turkey and Cyprus. In his Twitter account, Füle wrote that it was “time to de-escalate and keep doors open for swift return to negotiations for a comprehensive Cyprus settlement to the benefit of all”.
Meanwhile, the Conference of Presidents of the European Parliament in Strasbourg has decided to discuss the Turkish actions during the mini session of the European Parliament to be held in Brussels on November 12-13.
According to CNA sources, the issue will be included in the agenda of the mini-session plenary, which is no different from the monthly plenary held in Strasbourg.
The discussion will be under the title: “Turkish actions creating tensions in the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Cyprus”.
Also on Wednesday, Greek President Karolos Papoulias sent a message of support for Cyprus and hoped the EU would show solidarity.
The US also reiterated that it recognises the Republic of Cyprus’ right to develop its resources in its EEZ, Marie Harf, Deputy Spokesperson for the US Department of State said.
She said the US “continues to strongly support the negotiation process conducted under UN Good Offices to reunify the island. That’s obviously been our policy for a long time,” she added.
Asked to comment on a statement by the Cypriot government spokesman that Turkey’s actions in the island’s EEZ were akin to another invasion, Harf said: “Well, I haven’t seen those comments, but we continue to believe that the island’s oil and gas resources, like all of its resources, should be equitably shared between both communities in the context of an overall settlement. And it’s important, I think, to avoid actions that may increase tensions in the region”.
The German foreign ministry at a press briefing on Wednesday urged Turkey to respect international law and urges it to refrain from actions that obstruct both the solution to the Cyprus problem and the country’s EU accession process.
The National Council on Tuesday adopted a package of eight measures with immediate effect in response to the continuing violation of the sovereign rights of the Republic in its EEZ by Turkey.
Among others, the Republic of Cyprus will not consent to the opening of any new chapter in Turkey’s accession process and will conduct a study of the possibility of recourse to the U.N. Security Council.