Waiting for more from the UN, Christodoulides communicates with the US
By Michalis Michael
The EU did the obvious thing in response to Turkey’s unlawful behaviour in the Cypriot EEZ, diplomats in Nicosia say, with whom we communicated in regards to all that took place at the Informal Meeting in Romania and concerned both Cyprus and Turkey’s “invasion”, as the Cypriot President characterized it, into the Cypriot EEZ. Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides, according to the same sources, yesterday evening had a conversation via telephone with officials of the US Foreign Ministry regarding the issue, and from this communication Nicosia seems ready to move on to the next legal and political steps.
If there is an asterisk on the international treatment of the issue, on the side of the diplomatic background of Nicosia, it has to do with the attitude of impartiality that the UN upholds. Nicosia has submitted the guidelines for the EEZ, however, on the side of the UN a policy of impartiality is being kept, which in the current state of affairs does not satisfy many in the Cypriot Foreign Ministry, according to the information we have. However at the same time they did not expect anything more, as they themselves admit.
For his part, what President Anastasiades sought in Romania – beyond Turkey’s verbal conviction – was an act of conviction. Thus, he asked his counterparts to consider specific measures against individuals and companies which are involved in exploratory drilling in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus, according to a diplomatic source.
Leaders, including Victor Orban (Hungary), Dalia Grybauskaitė (Lithuania), Stefan Löfven (Sweden) and Alexis Tsipras (Greece), showed their support for the Cypriot request. Chancellor Angela Merkel, according to our anonymous source, said she supports the interests of Cyprus, but these sanctions were not discussed at the meeting.
“Essentially, today the European Council is putting Turkey under surveillance”, the government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said after the Sibiu summit, expressing the full satisfaction of the President of the Republic for the support he received from his counterparts.
“We are very pleased with the support that the President of the Republic’s intervention received from his counterparts at the Informal European Council in Sibiu, and with the clear support of the President of the European Council, who declared that the united Europe stands by the side of Cyprus. Mr Tusk’s report is also very important, as by calling on Turkey to respect the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus, he made it clear that the European Council will closely monitor developments and Turkey’s behaviour”, Prodromou said.
He concluded by saying that this refers both to the emergency European Council meeting on 28 May and to the next European Council in June.
Universal political condemnation
Meanwhile, in the national political front, the Cypriot parties’ convictions of Turkey’s actions continues to take place, of course without any shots missing, especially between DISY and AKEL, who continued to debate yesterday and are expected to continue in the next few days as well, since the issue is expected to dominate in the pre-election period for the upcoming European elections.
Europe has sent a clear message that its relations with Turkey are largely determined by how the situation in Cyprus will develop, DISY President Averof Neophytou said on the subject, who asked everyone for commitment and unity with the President of the Republic in these critical times that Turkey has invaded the Cypriot EEZ.
Speaking at the thematic conference for Europe Day, entitled “From the realities of Europe that we have, to the vision of a Europe that we want”, DISY President urged everyone to stand by Europe by participating universally in these particularly critical, as he characterized them, elections, in order to ensure that we move forward and leave no room for those who have other aspirations for the European construction, for those who resort to extreme rhetoric in order to gain party benefits.
The President of the House of Representatives and President-in-Office of the Republic, Dimitris Syllouris, stated that behaviours such as Turkey’s can not be tolerated as they jeopardize the peace of the region and offend the allegiance and respect of the other states towards the international legality and the need for peaceful coexistence and cooperation. In his greeting to the President for the 800 years since the visit of St. Francis of the Assize in Cyprus and the Middle East, Mr. Syllouris stated that the President of the Republic is in Romania for the Informal Council of the Heads of EU “at a particularly critical moment characterized by Turkey’s new provocations against Cyprus and against the peace of the region”.
Provocations, he said, “which are testing the tolerance of the international community against the rise of Turkey’s arrogance and aggression towards the need for respect towards international law and cooperation and good neighbourly relations of states”.
Mr. Syllouris continued by saying that “our region, not only as a result of the Turkish provocations to the sovereign rights of Cyprus, has been tested during this period and continues to be tested by violent conflicts and claims that serve anything but the ideals of peace and good cooperation and neighbourliness of states”./ibna