European Commission engages in Cyprus peace talks

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on 27 July that the European Commission (EC), with the EU's support, called for a "European solution" to the Cypriot-Turkish conflict, and therefore the leaders of both sides of the conflict, Cypriot President Nikos Anastasiadis and the leader of the Cypriot Turks Mustafa Akinci, were addressed.

According to Greece, the EU should define its position on Turkey more strongly due to Turkish military presence on the territory of Cyprus, an EU state, which, Greece says, is virtually annexed by a third party. Relations between Cyprus and Turkey are also worsening in connection with the planned offshore gas drilling in Cyprus' exclusive economic zone (EEZ). Turkey threatens countermeasures and challenges the right of Greek Cypriots to offshore gas drilling, as the government in Nicosia has not been officially recognised. On the contrary, Greece warns Turkey that it is ready to defend the sovereignty of the EU state. The disputes over offshore gas drilling thus add to the overall disputes between the two NATO allies. Offshore gas drilling would ensure an improvement of Cypriot energy security and increase its energy importance in the region, which Turkey, as a regional hub, might perceive negatively. By the end of the year, Turkey plans to sign an agreement on the construction of a gas pipeline with Israel, which would further strengthen its position in the region.

About author: Michaela Ceklová


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