The aggressive rhetoric of Turkey as a factor undermining stability and cooperation in the region, was mentioned by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cyprus Nikos Christodoulidis, in his statements after the conclusion of the Ministerial Summit of the Mediterranean countries of the EU (MED 7).
“Unfortunately, especially recently, we are witnessing an aggressive rhetoric by Turkey against an EU member state, with threats of resumption of illegal actions within the Cyprus EEZ and the creation of new, unacceptable ones within the enclosed area of Famagusta.” said Mr. Christodoulidis.
According to him, these actions aim, among other things, “at undermining stability and cooperation in the region, but also by forcing a form of solution to the Cyprus problem that not only goes beyond the agreed framework and EU principles and values but, and this is especially important in the current situation, it is in complete contradiction with the desire of the vast majority of the Cypriot people, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots “.
Referring to the forthcoming European Council, which is expected to address the above issues as part of the debate on the future of EU-Turkey relations, Christodoulidis expressed the hope that results will emerge that “will strengthen the credibility of the EU, highlight the in practice and its desire to play a more decisive geopolitical role and will send the message that the EU's fundamental principle of solidarity between Member States is not empty of content, that it is not limited to public proclamations and, most importantly – why this is the question – that it can act as a deterrent. “
At the same time, Mr. Christodoulidis underlined that the permanent position of the Republic of Cyprus is to promote stability, peace and prosperity in the strategic region of the Eastern Mediterranean, expanding the network of regional cooperation with isolated states in the region. “Always without exclusions and on the basis of a positive approach and with the sole condition of respect for international law and the principles of good neighborly relations,” he said.
Speaking on the remaining issues that were part of the agenda of today's MED 7 Summit, the Foreign Minister stressed that the challenges of the pandemic further highlighted the need for coordination at European level. In this context, he made special reference to the issue of restarting economies, with an emphasis on tourism, given the crucial importance of this sector for the Mediterranean countries.
“A strong tool is the support of the EU Member States from the Recovery and Stability Mechanism, so that we can make our economies even more sustainable, more able to meet challenges and, in essence, turn the effects of the pandemic into opportunities to create more “Durable and competitive economies, which will meet the current data and will promote, among other things, the green transition and digital transformation while ensuring social rights”, said Mr. Christodoulidis.
Finally, he referred to the issue of migration, which was a central theme of the Summit, noting that a common finding was that “in order to effectively tackle the disproportionately large migration flows facing the Mediterranean Member States of the European Union, the New Pact for Immigration and Asylum will be based on the balance between the principles of responsibility and solidarity “.
“Cyprus, as a front-line Member State, is called upon, especially in recent years, to manage an unprecedented situation due to an unprecedented increase in migratory flows,” said the Cypriot Foreign Minister, arguing that the situation is deteriorating through “systematic instrumentalization”. and the exploitation of human suffering by some States, and on the other hand due to Turkey's refusal to cooperate and fulfill its contractual obligations towards Cyprus, including the Readmission Agreement with the European Union “.
“We strongly believe that the adoption of a comprehensive immigration policy, which takes into account and effectively addresses the sensitivities, specificities and needs of all Member States, will be beneficial, inter alia, for the smooth functioning of the Schengen area “which is undoubtedly one of the most important achievements of the EU and a symbol of European integration”, concluded the Minister of Foreign Affairs.