President Nicos Anastasiades will visit Athens on Tuesday for talks with the Greek government over Turkish violations in the eastern Mediterranean, ahead of the European Council meeting on July 17 and 18, while the government here appeared to be raising the bar of expectations, saying that it sought nothing less than concrete EU sanctions against Ankara.
According to the presidential palace, Anastasiades will meet with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Greek President Katerina.
He will be meeting Sakellaropoulou first at the presidential palace in Athens, and later Mitsotakis at the Greek prime minister’s residence, where they will consult together with representatives from both countries.
They will be discussing Ankara’s actions against both countries’ sovereign rights and in the eastern Mediterranean, Turkey’s relations with the European Union, and bilateral relations between Greece and Cyprus.
They will also coordinate their positions ahead of the European Council meeting to be held on July 17 and 18.
In a statement, government spokesman Kyriacos Koushios said Turkey’s actions against Cyprus and Greece are also directed at the EU.
Nicosia, he added, seeks EU sanctions against Ankara, such that will discourage Turkey’s expansionist and destabilising policies in the eastern Mediterranean.
Whereas Nicosia wishes to engage in dialogue with Turkey, the latter does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus and as such nor the EU, said Koushios.
To this end, the Cypriot foreign minister has carried out a number of diplomatic actions, while President Anastasiades has briefed regional leaders on the problems caused by Turkey’s aggressive posture.
On Tuesday afternoon, Anastasiades will meet Alexis Tsipras, leader of the Greek opposition party Syriza.
The president will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides, the government spokesman, the ambassador of Cyprus in Greece Kyriacos Kenevezos, and the head of Anastasiades’ diplomatic office Kyriacos Kouros.
He will be returning to Cyprus late on Tuesday evening.
Meantime Christodoulides was in Brussels on Monday participating in the EU Foreign Affairs Council, which for the first time since February is being held with the ministers being physically present.
The meeting will focus on Turkey, in the wake of developments in the eastern Mediterranean. EU ministers will be briefed by Josep Borrell, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, on the results of his recent visit to Ankara.