Defense Minister Savvas Aggelides called today Cyprus EU counterparts to discuss specific measures against Turkeys illegal actions within the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic, after a detailed debriefing on the recent escalation of events. Minister Aggelides, briefed his counterparts during a Defense session of the Foreign Affairs Council, convening in Brussels since yesterday.
Talking on the Press and Information Office camera, the Minister stated that he informed his counterparts on the blatant violations of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus and explained to them that “apart from the obvious, the sovereign rights and the interests of the Republic of Cyprus are being seriously affected, the rights and interests of the EU are also affected “. “I have reminded them,” said the Minister, “the fact that there are large European companies operating in the EEZ of Cyprus are directly affected by these provocative actions of Turkey.”
He aslo recalled that he thanked EU High Representative Mogherini for the long-standing support and solidarity statements, and especially yesterday after the end of the Foreign Ministers Summit, where seh called on Turkey for self restrain, respect of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus and to put and end to the illegal activities within the Cypriot EEZ”, the Minister said.
“But I believe that now, and this is most important, after this cycle of statements, the adoption of measures should follow, and the EU has stated that it will act appropriately by monitoring Turkeys actions,” the minister said. “It is now clear to us that all steps are being taken to end this illegality,” he concluded.
Cypruss position was also supported by Greek Defense Minister Evangelos Apostolakis in order to stop Turkeys illegal activities in the EEZ of Cyprus, noting, however, by speaking to the Press in Brussels that the measures have not yet been specified, but “we are watching closely and monitoring the conditions”.
On the sidelines of the Summit, the Minister of Defense had a separate conversation with High Representative Mogherini discussing the latest developments in the Republic of Cypruss EEZ and ways of reacting the European Union. Mr. Angelides also met with the Defense Ministers of Italy and Germany, which he also informed about the escalation of Turkeys unlawful actions in the Cypriot EEZ. With the Defense Ministers, he also had the opportunity to exchange views on issues related to enhanced cooperation in the field of defense and security. With his Italian counterpart in particular he had the opportunity to discuss the interests of the Italian company ENI operating within the EEZ. “Solidarity has been repeated at this time and evidence that further steps will be taken to put an end to this illegality,” said S. Angelides
It should be noted that a number of defense issues were on the Councils agenda. In particular, Ministers have been concerned with the progress made in implementing the PESCO and the security situation in Sub-Saharan Africa (Sahel). Ministers also had the opportunity to discuss issues related to EU-NATO cooperation in the presence of NATO Secretary-General Rose Gottemoeller, where Mr. Angelides described the illegal actions of Turkey, a NATO member country, harming the EU – NATO relations.
The Minister of Defense referred to EU-NATO cooperation on hybrid warfare, condemning Turkeys provocative attitude towards our country. He also expressed Cypruss support for Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), which, as he pointed out, aims at strengthening the EUs security and defense capabilities.
According to a written statement, defense ministers also attended the meeting of the European Defense Agencys Board of Directors, during which the Organizations Head of State, F. Mogherini , presented the report on the implementation of the long-term review of the Agency. It was also agreed to review the revision of the Council Decision on the establishment of the Statute, Headquarters and Rules of Procedure of the European Defense Agency in 2020. In addition, at a special ceremony before the start of the Council, the Ministers of Defense signed the establishment of the European Defense Agencys “A” Category Program regarding the improvement of cross-border military movements inside and outside the EU.
The Minister announced that he is going to France today for a meeting with the countrys defense minister, focusing on Turkeys unlawful actions in the Republic of Cyprus EEZ.
Source: Cyprus News Agency