Nicosia is anticipating a package of measures from the EU in the coming period that will be able to exert pressure on Turkey to review its practices and reverse its illegal actions, President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades has said during a dinner hosted by Slovenia’s Ambassador Matjas Longar on Tuesday on the occasion of the completion of the EU presidency.
In relation to Famagusta, President Anastasiades reminded the statement by Josep Borrell High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy last July where Turkey’s one-sided and illegal actions in the fenced area of Varosha were condemned and noted that what Nicosia is expecting is that in the options paper a package of measures will be included which will put pressure on Turkey to review its actions and reverse them.
President Anastasiades called for EU partners to support efforts for the resumption of the negotiating procedure, urging them to exert their influence on Turkey to respect the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus on the basis of international law and to refrain from its continued illegal activities.
The President of the Republic assured that despite the enormous difficulties faced by our side due to the Turkish stance on the Cyprus issue, he remains fully committed to the resumption of the process for a solution to the Cyprus problem.
President Anastasiades expressed concern about Turkey’s stance on the Cyprus issue and its apparent intention to prevent the resumption of talks on the basis of a bizonal, bicommunal federation, due to its parallel provocative tactics both at sea and on the land in the fenced off area of Famagusta, as well as its plans for further militarization of the occupied territories. He reminded the concession of Greek Cypriot land to the Turkish occupying army to create a military base, in addition to its ongoing plans for the creation of a drone base in Lefkoniko and a naval base in Trikomo.
On the issue of migration, President Anastasiades commented on the state of emergency in which Cyprus is in due to the increased migratory flows, noting that since the beginning of this year until today, almost 11,000 asylum applications have been submitted with the state exceeding its ability to handle the situation.
He said the reason that Cyprus had to ask for help from the European Commission President is that there is no alternative realistic way to handle the reason for the flows which is Turkey. He criticised Turkey for intentionally sending undocumented migrants to the free areas of Cyprus through the Turkish occupied north when most of them have travelled via plane from Istanbul to the illegal airport at Tymbou. These migrants arrive in the occupied areas and are picked up to be taken to various points of the ceasefire line so that they can enter the areas controlled by the Republic.
He added that the way Belarus is using migrants as a tool has caused a migration crisis in the northern external borders of the EU, which is similar to what Turkey is doing against Cyprus and the crisis it had created in 2020 at the Greco-Turkish borders.
Cyprus, he added, stands in solidarity with its EU partners who are victims of the manufactured migrant crisis by Belarus and supports collective measures against Minsk to stop these unacceptable practices.
Given that a similar and undisputable instrumentalisation of the migration issue is also observed by Turkey, stressed President Anastasiades, Nicosia is anticipating a similar response by the EU towards Ankara.
The President referred to a series of issues that are on the European agenda and expected to be examined at the EU Council in December such as the sharp rise in the cost of energy throughout the EU and relief measures to EU citizens, especially the vulnerable groups and small to medium-sized businesses, handling the pandemic in light of the Omicron variant and other issues.