Europe Lends Support to Greece, Cyprus Over Turkish Violations
By Tasos Kokkinidis
The European Union came to the defense of Greece and Cyprus on Friday following what President Donald Tusk described as “Turkey’s illegal violations in the Eastern Mediterranean and in the Aegean.”
“On behalf of all the EU leaders, I would like to express our solidarity with Cyprus and Greece, and urgently call on Turkey to terminate these activities,” Tusk said during a press conference following a summit meeting in Brussels.
“I reiterate our support for the sovereign right of the Republic of Cyprus to explore and exploit its natural resources, in accordance with EU and international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea,” he added.
These actions contradict Turkey’s commitment to good neighborly relations and their normalization with all Member States, Tusk warned.
According to Greek government sources, Merkel told Tsipras during an EU meeting on Friday in Brussels that Germany’s support “is clear and given.”
On his part, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said he and Cyprus Republic President Nicos Anastasiades had briefed European partners on Turkey’s provocative actions in the Cyprus EEZ and the Aegean, including “the recent unacceptable and extremely dangerous incident at (the) Imia (islet).”
The EU, he said, should send Turkey a clear message that “EU-Turkish relations cannot move forward when member-states’ sovereign rights are violated.”
Turkey and Greece can collaborate on several sectors in the future only if Turkey respects international law in the Aegean and the East Mediterranean, Tsipras stressed.
Tusk calls on Turkey to stop aggression against Greece, Cyprus; warns over Varna meeting
23 February 2018
European Council President Donald Tusk said EU leaders of member countries expressed solidarity with Greece and Cyprus after Turkey’s recent aggression in the Aegean and called on Turkey to end all actions against the two countries, noting EU leaders will assess the country’s stance to decide whether to hold a meeting with the Turkish leadership in Varna in March.
“I would like to express our solidarity with Cyprus and Greece and urgently call on Turkey to terminate these activities. I reiterate our support for the sovereign right of the Republic of Cyprus to explore and exploit its natural resources, in accordance with EU and international law, including the EU convention on the law of the sea,” he told journalists on Friday after an informal meeting of EU leaders in Brussels.
Tusk also said EU leaders will assess at their next meeting in March “whether the conditions are there to hold the leaders’ meeting with Turkey in Varna on 26 March,” noting the country’s latest actions contradict Turkey’s commitment to good neighbourly relations and their normalization with all member-states.