The European Commission on Thursday called on Turkey to maintain a spirit of solidarity without discrimination after Ankara denied a plane transporting medical equipment from China to Cyprus entry to its airspace.
The plane with 36 tonnes of medical supplies from China arrived late Wednesday night after being forced to change course and head to Moscow for refuelling when permission to fly through Turkish airspace was denied. The aircraft was chartered by the government to bring the equipment from China.
The flight finally arrived in Cyprus 10 hours late.
“The best way to tackle the coronavirus pandemic and its impact is international solidarity and close cooperation,” Commission/ EEAS spokesman Peter Stano said. He was asked to comment by the Cyprus News Agency.
“We are aware of this issue and the extraordinary circumstances under the coronavirus pandemic really require solidarity without exceptions” he said.
He added that Turkey had been providing medical supplies to many countries around the world and also participated in the coronavirus global response conference.
“Therefore, we would expect and encourage Turkey to maintain this spirit of solidarity without discrimination,” Stano said.
China’s ambassador to Cyprus, Huang Xingyuan said that only through unity and cooperation could the pandemic be overcome.
“We need to act now against all actions that undermine international cooperation in combatting Covid-19,” he told CNA.