CYPRUS on Wednesday expressed its “deepest concern” at the situation created after the “unacceptable shooting down of Russian fighter aircraft by the Turkish air force”.
“While efforts for coordinated action amongst the international community to combat terrorism are ongoing, yesterday’s episode is undermining all efforts for powers such as the US, Russia and the EU to work together to achieve this objective,” the statement attributable to President Nicos Anastasiades said, expressing his condolences to Russia.
The Russian embassy in Nicosia in an announcement said that under President Tayyip Erdogan Turkey was “turning more and more to radical Islamism”.
“In this respect, its ‘religious goals’ correspond with those of ISIS,” the embassy said.
“Russia has always seen Turkey as a friendly state but this incident will have implications for Russian-Turkish relations,” the embassy said, adding that Moscow already had concerns about the terrorist threat on the rise in Turkey. It called on Russian citizens to refrain temporarily from travelling there.
“The Russian Federation understands that every state has its own regional interests and hopes that all members of the international community will stand as one in the fight against international terrorism. It is surprising that NATO supported Turkey’s right to “defend its territory”. Defend it from what? From the plane that did not have any armaments on board?”
Cypriot political parties joined in their condemnation of Turkey. The Greens, Citizens Alliance and AKEL urged the Cyprus government not to be swayed by “the pressures of the Anglo-American axis supporting Turkey against Russia”.
“President Anastasiades has to reflect after this act of aggression by Turkey. It is with this country he is negotiating the abolition of the Republic,” the Alliance said.
The Greens called for meetings of the National Council and the Geostrategic Council, while AKEL said NATO seemed to have forgotten that the real enemy is the Islamic State. “On the contrary, all the evidence shows that Turkey continues to support the Islamic State,” it said.