Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and his Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulidis on Friday have called on the European Union to take action against Turkey for the latter's seismic exploration activity in the Eastern Mediterranean and role in the reopening of the Varosha coastline on Cyprus ahead of a summit of EU leaders next week
ATHENS (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 04th December, 2020) Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and his Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulidis on Friday have called on the European Union to take action against Turkey for the latter's seismic exploration activity in the Eastern Mediterranean and role in the reopening of the Varosha coastline on Cyprus ahead of a summit of EU leaders next week.
"The common denominator is the illegal and provocative behavior of Turkey. By its actions in a wide region, Turkey threatens peace, security, and stability. On the one hand, it tries to create a fait accompli, and on the other, avoids taking measures against it," Dendias said at a joint press conference after a meeting with Christodoulidis in the Cypriot capital, Nicosia.
Athens and Nicosia have raised objections throughout 2020 against the presence of Turkish seismic exploration vessels in areas of the Mediterranean Sea that both Greece and Cyprus claim to be part of their respective exclusive economic zones.
During the press conference Dendias urged the EU's member states to "fulfill their obligations" and take decisions that will prompt Turkey to de-escalate tensions.
The two ministers also discussed the reopening of the previously fenced off Varosha coastline area in the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. The area, once a popular tourist destination, was abandoned following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, although Ankara is believed to have pushed for its reopening.
Representatives from the Greek and Turkish communities of Cyprus last held UN-mediated talks in 2017 in the Swiss town of Crans-Montana, although UN special envoy for Cyprus, Jane Holl Lute, has held discussions with Cypriot leaders with the aim of restarting the peace process.
"On the Cyprus issue, we have expressed our readiness to resume negotiations from where they left off in Crans-Montana, as was clearly explained to Mrs. Lute. We hope that the UN secretary-general will soon convene an informal conference on Cyprus, paving the way for the resumption of substantive negotiations in accordance with the secretary-general's terms," the Cypriot foreign minister said.
The leaders of the European Union's member states are expected to hold a two-day summit from December 10-11. The European Parliament on November 26 voted overwhelmingly in favor of imposing sanctions on Turkey over the reopening of the Varosha coastline.