Turkey snubbing calls for de-escalation, European official says
Recent actions by Turkey are “going against the spirit” of de-escalation in the Eastern Mediterranean urged by the European Council in October, a high-ranking European official told Kathimerini on condition of anonymity on Tuesday.
Turkey’s behaviour in the Eastern Mediterranean and the decision to reopen part of Varosha, a former resort fenced off and abandoned in no man's land in the northeast of Cyprus since Turkey’s 1974 invasion of the island, will be discussed during a Foreign Affairs Council video conference Friday, the official said, adding that the issue will also be discussed by the bloc’s foreign ministers on December 7.
The official said it will be up to the European Union summit on December 10-11 to decide how the bloc should respond to Turkey’s “unfriendly” actions.
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias is on Friday expected to inform his EU counterparts about Turkey’s latest navigational advisory, or Navtex. Meanwhile, Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides will brief them on the latest developments regarding Varosha.
During a visit to the site on Sunday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called for a “two-state” solution of the Cyprus problem.
The European Council’s conclusions on October 1 strongly condemned violations of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus and called on Turkey to accept the invitation by Cyprus to engage in dialogue.
[The article was first published in the Kathimerini and reprinted with permission.]