EU news: Turkey’s Erdogan hits out at EU over ‘biased’ mediating in Cyprus crisis | World | News

0
3


President Tayyip Erdogan has been the subject of heavy criticism from the international community after he was accused of repeatedly violating Cyprus’ sovereignty. After reiterating his desire to drill in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone – which only the Cypriot government are meant to have access – Mr Erdogan’s administration announced a second drilling ship had arrived in Cypriot waters. Both Brussels and Athens have hit out at Turkey for their alleged aggression in the Mediterranean – a claim Ankara has soundly rejected.

The Foreign Ministry said: “The EU will not be a neutral broker to solve the Cyprus issue.

“It has become clear that the European Union cannot assume the role of a neutral mediator in the negotiation process for resolving the Cyprus issue.”

The Turkish ship – Yavuz – joined the Fatih vessel, which has been present on the opposite west coast of Cyprus since May.

It will start to search for oil and gas in the east, while Fatih will continue drilling for resources.

There was a furious reaction from Brussels, with High Representative Federica Mogherini saying: “Turkey’s declared intention to illegally conduct a new drilling operation northeast of Cyprus is of grave concern.

“This second planned drilling operation, two months after the start of the ongoing drilling operations west of Cyprus, is a further unacceptable escalation which violates the sovereignty of Cyprus.

“We call on the Turkish authorities, once again, to refrain from such actions, act in a spirit of good neighbourliness and respect the sovereignty and sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus in accordance with international law.”

In a chilling warning, Ms Mogherini added that the EU would not hesitate to act in solidarity with one of their member states.

Today the EU will discuss whether to cut £131million worth of aid to Turkey as punishment for encroaching in Cyprus’ waters.

Ankara maintain that they are simply protecting the rights of Turkish Cypriots, and therefore have a right to the resources.

However, Athens has insisted that its neighbouring country should maintain its sovereignty over natural resources.

A Foreign Ministry spokesperson said: “Greece expresses full solidarity with the Republic of Cyprus and once again calls on Turkey to immediately desist from its illegal activities.”

Cyprus has been a flashpoint for tensions between Greece and Turkey ever since Ankara invaded the island in 1974.

It currently occupies the northern third of Cyprus, which has a majority of Turkish Cypriots.

The US also waded into the situation yesterday as the State Department urged Turkey to stop its drilling operations in the region.

A statement read: “The United States remains deeply concerned by Turkey’s repeated attempts to conduct drilling operations in the waters off Cyprus.

“We urge Turkish authorities to halt these operations and encourage all parties to act with restraint and refrain from actions that increase tensions in the region.”

Turkey have clashed with the US over its decision to purchase Russian S-400 missiles, which Washington fears will open their own F-35 jets up to subterfuge.



Source link

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here