European Council includes reference to “targeted measures” in its conclusions on Turkey

The final text regarding Turkish violations adopted on Thursday by the European Council includes stronger wording than the draft, containing now a phrase on “targeted measures”, which diplomatic sources describe as “measures against persons.”

According to a Greek diplomatic source that informed the press in Brussels on the sidelines of the European Council, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras intervened in a targeted and coordinated manner at the Council, along with the President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiadis, calling on partners for a stronger reaction against Turkish activities.

According to the same diplomatic source, the Prime Minister stressed that “measures aim to end [Turkey’s] illegal actions and return to the table of dialogue to resolve the Cyprus problem on the basis of UN resolutions.” He also noted that Greece and Cyprus never closed the door for dialogue, with Greece in particular proposing at an earlier stage the delimitation of the continental shelf.

Alexis Tsipras reportedly told the Council that “it is a matter of credibility for the EU” while the issue concerns the EU “as French and Italian companies are involved.” He also noted that if the EU shows solidarity with Ukraine, it is compelled to show solidarity with Cyprus, an EU member state, underlining the importance of including the phrase for targeted measures.

The intervention of the Prime Minister and the final text was supported by all, following a limited initial reaction from Germany and the Netherlands. Visegrad countries proved flexible on the issue, the same source said.

President Anastasiades also made a statement refering to all Turkish movements that preceded Europe’s reaction. The President thanked partner countries for their solidarity with Cyprus, and High Representative Federica Mogherini briefed the Council on the next moves.

The European Council will monitor the situation closely and diplomats believe that a re-evaluation will follow in the next sessions, in July.

Source: Cyprus News Agency