EU’s stance on Cyprus ‘blows up’ chance of cooperation: TRNC
LEFKOŞA- Anadolu Agency
In a written statement issued in response to the outcome of the two-day EU leaders’ summit in Brussels, the presidency said: “EU’s unconditional support for the Greek Cypriots and Greece by ignoring the rights of Turkish Cypriot people and the Republic of Turkey under the cover of ‘membership solidarity’ blows up the opportunity of interdependence and cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean.”
It added that it is not possible for the EU, which has already lost a chance to become an impartial actor in solving the Cyprus issue, to undertake a constructive role with this stance.
The presidency stressed that the decision was taken on the Eastern Mediterranean at the summit “will in no way affect our determination to continue to protect our legitimate rights and interests.”
The declaration issued following the summit reiterated the EU’s commitment to “defending its interests and those of its member states as well as to upholding regional stability”.
It condemned the opening of part of the town of Maraş, also known in Greek as Varosha, and argued that U.N. Security Council resolutions should be respected.
The summit also signaled that the EU may increase pressure on Ankara in the coming weeks, by including additional individuals from Turkey’s energy sector to a sanctions regime, which was created in November 2019.
Turkey, which has the longest continental coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean, has rejected maritime boundary claims of Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration and stressed that these excessive claims violate the sovereign rights of both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots.
Ankara has sent several drillships in recent months to explore for energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting its own rights in the region, as well as those of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Turkish leaders have repeatedly stressed that Ankara is in favor of resolving all outstanding problems in the region through international law, good neighborly relations, dialogue, and negotiation.
Ignoring Northern Cyprus ‘unacceptable’
“The fact that the EU does not refer or ignore the Turkish Cypriot people in these and similar decisions is unacceptable and incompatible with the facts,” said the presidency.
Noting that the Cyprus issue remains unresolved due to rejections from the Greek Cypriot administration, it said: “The Turkish Cypriot side has repeatedly declared that the negotiations cannot be resumed from where they were left off and that it is ready for an agreement based on sovereign equality and two-statehood that envisages mutual recognition for a sustainable reconciliation.”
It stressed that the TRNC will continue to defend with determination its legitimate rights and interests together with Turkey.
TRNC Prime Minister Ersan Saner and the Foreign Ministry also reacted to the outcome of the two-day EU leaders’ summit in Brussels.
"The side which conducting unilateral and provocative drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean is the Greek Cypriot administration that rejected the proposal of Turkey and TRNC on establishing a joint committee," Saner said in a written statement.
Mentioning the EU's stance on the Cyprus issue, he stressed that decision to make Greek Cypriot a full EU member that was wrongly made by ignoring the facts that exist in Cyprus has not helped the resolve of the Cyprus issue.
Saner noted that TRNC has also done the same thing that the Greek Cypriot side does in the Eastern Mediterranean:
"If they can carry out drilling activities by making deals with Egypt and Israel, our drilling activities, with Turkey is also legal and is in accordance with international law," Saner added.
Tensions due to unilateral acts of Greek Cypriot
In a separate statement, the Foreign Ministry said that outcome of the two-day EU summit showed that the EU is an "interest club" lacks rights and justice.
"This Union [EU], which was established for the security and stability of the European geography [...] has turned into a great misfortune and danger for the Eastern Mediterranean region," the ministry said in the statement.
It noted that the only way to end tension in the Eastern Mediterranean, caused by the unilateral activities of the Greek Cypriot and the EU's support, would be possible via cooperation and dialogue with relevant parties.
"If the EU wants to contribute to stability and security in the Eastern Mediterranean, it should stop ignoring the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriot people, whose presence in the island and the region cannot be denied," it added.
EU leaders gathered in Brussels on Thursday for two days to discuss the EU budget, COVID-19, transatlantic ties, and relations with Turkey.