The European Union condemns Turkey’s actions off the coast of Cyprus

Beritan Tello –

Today, Saturday, the European Union condemned Turkey’s moves off the coast of Cyprus as part of a dispute related to exploration for gas fields, accusing Ankara of “exacerbating” the differences.

The 27 member states of the European Union have repeatedly called on Turkey to stop drilling for gas and oil exploration off the coast of Cyprus, as it interferes with the economic zone of Cyprus, a member of the European bloc.

“We regret that Turkey has not responded to the many calls of the European Union to stop such activities,” the foreign ministers of the 27 European Union member states said in a joint statement on Friday evening.

“We reiterate our call for Turkey to demonstrate restraint, abandon this type of movement and respect the sovereignty and sovereign rights of Cyprus,” the foreign ministers added in the statement.

The ministers welcomed the efforts of Cyprus to negotiate this dispute, stressing that “the recent escalation in Turkish moves is regrettably going in the wrong direction.”

This comes at a time when the Turkish ship “Yavuz” has been drilling off the coast of Cyprus since the end of last April.

On Thursday, Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez stressed that the drilling would not stop.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan rejected the European Union’s “warnings” and waved the refugee card again, saying that Turkey is home to about four million refugees, most of them are Syrians, and could open doors for them towards Europe.

He pointed out that this came a day after a Turkish media announced that the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) submitted an application to Libya to obtain a permit to explore in the eastern Mediterranean.

It is worth noting that the signing of the agreement sparked strong opposition and criticism from several countries, especially Greece, Cyprus and Egypt, whose relations with Turkey are witnessing great tension against the backdrop of several issues, and the three countries issued a joint statement at the time, in which I promised that signing this memorandum of understanding is a measure that has no “Any legal effect.”

Translation: Selava Omar

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