Monday, October 26, 2020
banner
Home /  Europe  /  EU chief pledges to defend Cyprus rights in Turkey standoff

EU chief pledges to defend Cyprus rights in Turkey standoff

EU chief pledges to defend Cyprus rights in Turkey standoff

AFP
Nicosia
European Council chief Charles Michel pledged on Wednesday that the bloc will defend the rights of member state Cyprus in its standoff with Turkey over maritime and energy rights.
Michel’s visit to the island comes a day after Turkey said its Yavuz drillship would continue its search for oil and gas off Cyprus until October 12, despite international calls to withdraw.
The top EU official is in Cyprus ahead of an emergency meeting of EU leaders next week that will address Turkish actions in the eastern Mediterranean with sanctions a possibility.
“The European Union stands in solidarity with Cyprus as it faces a grave situation. That is why we have decided to call a summit on relations with Turkey,” Michel told reporters after meeting Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades.
“I believe we must be very firm when it comes to defending the rights of all member states, including Cyprus.”
Turkey, Greece and Cyprus have been locked in a dispute over offshore energy rights and maritime borders in the region, with Ankara infuriating the EU allies by sending research ships with naval escorts to work in contested waters.
Although Cyprus has been an EU member since 2004, its jurisdiction is not recognised by Turkey, which dismisses the island’s internationally recognised government as an exclusively Greek Cypriot administration.