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‘Turkey must show same good will as we do’, president tells EU

ΠτΔ – Τηλεδιάσκεψη με Πρόεδρο Ευρω
President Nicos Anastasiades during a teleconference with European Council President Charles Michel (PIO)

De-escalation of tensions by Turkey in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) should have duration and consistency, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Friday during a teleconference with European Council President Charles Michel.

Government spokesman Kyriacos Koushos said that Anastasiades held a teleconference call with Michel in the morning ahead of the visit next week of the presidents of the European Council and the European Commission to Ankara.

Michel and President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, are set to visit Ankara on Tuesday for a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. They are expected to discuss EU-Turkish relations but also the Cyprus problem.

The EU’s participation in the UN-led five-plus-one summit in Geneva at the end of the month is also expected to be raised as the bloc has expressed the wish to take part as an observer.

Anastasiades, Koushos said, reiterated during the teleconference,  his determination to engage constructively at the conference in Geneva and asked Michel “to stress the urgent need for the Turkish side to show the same  political will as our side, in order to create the necessary conditions for the resumption of substantive talks.”

“He also referred to the importance of the EU presence at the Geneva conference, but also to the substantive negotiations when they resume, in order to strengthen the prospects for resolving the Cyprus issue and to reach a functioning, lasting solution,” Koushos said.

Anastasiades also reiterated that the apparent de-escalation of tensions on the part of Turkey in the Republic of Cyprus’ EEZ should have duration and consistency. He also stressed that threats for the implementation of illegal Turkish plans in the fenced area of occupied Famagusta, Varosha, in violation of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions continue, just a few weeks before the  Geneva meeting.

They also discussed immigration, with Anastasiades pointing out “the particularly difficult situation that has developed in Cyprus”. Anastasiades reiterated that Cyprus, continues for years to hold the first place among the EU member states by population in relation to asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection.

The president said that this was a problem further exacerbated by Turkey’s continuing refusal to meet its obligations to all member states, Koushos said.

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