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Cyprus

President briefs EU Commission chief over Turkish actions in EEZ

File photo: President Nicos Anastasiades and Von Der Leyen in Brussels

President Nicos Anastasiades on Sunday evening briefed European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during a telephone call of Turkey’s continued illegal actions in the Eastern Mediterranean region, stressing the need for decisive measures at EU level.

In a written statement, Government Spokesperson Kyriacos Koushos said that they also discussed the multiannual financial framework and that President Anastasiades said the European Commission’s proposal is a good basis for discussion and outlined in depth Cyprus’ positions and requests.

According to Koushos, the president referred to Cyprus’ particularities due to is geographic position and the connectivity problems it faces as an island state as well as of the disproportionate migratory pressures it is faced with, asking the Commission to help the country deal with all these different challenges.

“The Cypriot economy, which is based on the sectors of tourism and services, has been significantly hit, pointing out the need of further support from the EU,” Koushos added.

Anastasiades briefed the European Commission President over recent developments in the Eastern Mediterranean and continued Turkish violations within Cyprus’ maritime zones, the government spokesperson said.

Anastasiades showed “Turkey’s destabilising role on the Eastern Mediterranean, the illegal actions that place the wider region’s security and stability in danger and stressed the need for the EU to take more decisive measures so that the unacceptable Turkish goals can be deterred and for more pressure to be placed on Ankara, both to end its illegal drillings and to prevent any incidents which would undermine stability and security in the region,” Koushos said.

Turkish drill ship Yavuz arrived in April in the exclusive economic zone (ΕΕΖ) of Cyprus after Ankara announced another attempt to drill a well in blocks licensed to international companies. This is the sixth time Turkey attempts to drill within the EEZ and continental shelf of Cyprus, this time in an area that covers part of exploration blocks 6 and 7, which have been licensed to ENI and TOTAL.

In a statement on May 15, EU foreign ministers deplored the fact that Turkey has not yet responded to EU calls to cease such activities and reiterated their call on Ankara to show restraint, refrain from such actions, and respect the sovereignty and sovereign rights of Cyprus, in accordance with international law.

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