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Cyprus’ only weapon against Turkey is international law, says president

File photo: President Nicos Anastasiades

Turning to militarism to deal with Turkish aggression would spell disaster for Cypriot Hellenism, President Nicos Anastasiades has said.

 In a pre-recorded interview with the public broadcaster which aired on television late Wednesday evening, Anastasiades recapped ongoing tensions in the east Mediterranean region as well as the visit here by Josep Borrell, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

 “If we consider that we can…provide a solution through militarisation, that will be the end of Cypriot Hellenism, something I do not wish for,” Anastasiades noted.

 “And this is not pessimism or defeatism, on the contrary. You need to be aware of the reality and choose the right weapons,” he added.

 For the Republic of Cyprus, the weapons at its disposal are international law and foreign relations – in short, diplomacy.

 Despite acknowledging that various EU members have largely paid only lip service to checking Turkey‘s aggressive posture in the high seas, Anastasiades said that gradually the bloc has come around to imposing real sanctions on Ankara.

 “The presence here of Mr Borrell is but confirmation that our European partners are thinking about how they can act in order to avoid an undesirable crisis in a region which, after all, forms the border of the European Union,” he noted.

 Turkey‘s unilateral splitting of Cyprus‘ EEZ is to the detriment of both communities on the island, the president stressed.

He went on to accuse Turkey of turning the north of the island into a protectorate.

Asked whether he might run again for office, and though not explicitly denying it, he hinted strongly that he will not.



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