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Cyprus

Anastasiades leaves Wednesday for crucial EU Council summit

President Nicos Anastasiades

President Nicos Anastasiades leaves on Wednesday for Brussels in order to participate in the Special European Council, on September 24 and 25.

Among the issues to be discussed at the Council summit are the single market, industrial policy and digital transformation, as well as external relations, in particular relations with Turkey and with China, an announcement from the presidency said.

The summit will also be an opportunity to take stock of the situation of the Covid-19 pandemic, it added.
Anastasiades will be accompanied by the Government Spokesman Kyriakos Kousios.

The Council is also expected to discuss Turkey’s illegal drilling activities in the region that are of concern to Greece and Cyprus. Together with France, the counties are seeking sanctions on Turkey. Cyprus is playing off the bloc’s desire for sanctions on Belarus with its own desire for sanctions on Ankara.

The issue came to a head on Monday in Brussels where EU  foreign ministers failed to agree sanctions against Belarusian officials as Cyprus dug its heels in, demanding sanctions against Turkey in return.

“Our reaction to any kind of violation of our core, basic values and principles cannot be a la carte. It needs to be consistent,” Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides said.

Though the EU announced plans for the sanctions last month, enacting them requires support from all 27 member states. Cyprus wants a deal first on measures in its dispute against Turkey over gas exploration.

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