Cyprus Mail

Concern expressed over latest Nato developments

Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides

Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides expressed concern on Wednesday over the details of Turkey’s agreement with Nato – namely its likely participation in Pesco, as part of Ankara granting approval for Sweden and Finland to join the alliance.

The 11th hour agreement on Tuesday night, which caught many by surprise, lifted Turkey’s veto over the Nordic states’ membership bids.

Kasoulides told CyBC’s Trito that the Republic’s position is that nations such as Turkey – which issue continuous threats and revisionist rhetoric – have no right to participate in future EU common defence and security operations, such as Pesco.

The permanent structured cooperation (Pesco) was first initiated in 2017 and forms a new comprehensive defence package for the bloc.

Kasoulides explained that the Republic faces difficulties in the sense that many Nato members are also EU member states.

He noted, however, that the Republic will not react with hostility but will instead closely monitor developments and act accordingly, despite the negative development.

The foreign minister further warned that there may be more upcoming provocations from Ankara as it recently unveiled a fourth drill ship, which could be sent to zones deemed to be within Turkey’s continental shelf or plots licensed by the Republic.

Elsewhere, the agreement also said Finland and Sweden would address Turkish extradition requests for suspected militants thoroughly and they would both lift restrictions on selling weapons to Turkey.

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