It is urgent that substantive Cyprus talks resume, the European Union High Representative for Foreign Policy Federica Mogherini told the EU parliament on Wednesday during a plenary session.
“It is urgent to resume substantive settlement talks aimed at the reunification of the island, aimed at a united Cyprus inside the European Union and based on a bicommunal and bizonal federation,” she said.
She was briefing MEPs on the decision taken by the EU28 Foreign Affairs Ministers on sanctions against Turkey’s illegal drilling in Cyprus’ EEZ.
Mogherini added the EU fully supports the work done by both Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and President Nicos Anastasiades, and that the meeting in Berlin on November 25 is crucial in agreeing the next steps for talks.
Commenting on tensions in the island’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), she said the EU was attempting to defuse tensions between the union and Turkey, who has sent ships to conduct drilling activities in the island’s EEZ.
“Our goal remains to defuse tension and make clear that Cyprus’ sovereignty and sovereign rights should be respected in accordance with international law.”
Regarding the sanctions on Turkey imposed last Monday over Cyprus, Mogherini said there was a united front in the EU with members showing their solidarity towards Cyprus. She added Turkey has been conducting unauthorised activities in Cyprus’ EEZ since May.
She told the parliament they had taken scaled measures against Turkey for these violations.
“As always, we are taking a gradual and scaled approach – meaning that sanctions can be scaled up or down, depending on developments on the ground – or in this case let me say rather developments at sea.
“And as always, these are targeted measures – so they will only target individuals or entities that are responsible for or involved in unauthorised drillings.”
She called on Turkey to work on de-escalating matters.