A vague statement by European Union leaders meeting at the 4th Southern Countries Summit in Rome calling for the reunification of Cyprus, divided since 1974 by an unlawful invasion, has drawn fire from Turkey although it was not provocative.
Ankara said the statement was both “distorted and unhelpful” the Turkish news agency Anadolu reported although it offered no help and no solutions but said there shouldn’t be guarantors of security on the island, as Turkey, Greece and the United Kingdom now do.
That came after Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades was briefed by French President Emmanuel Macron who sent to Turkey to meet President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has been stepping up provocations in the wake of the unity negotiations that collapsed in July, 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana after Turkey refused to remove an army from the occupied territory and said it wanted the right to militarily intervene.
The joint declaration contained “distorted and unconstructive statements regarding the Cyprus settlement process,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry stated. There were no news conferences from either sides so reporters didn’t have a chance to ask for clarifications.
“These statements reflect the Greek Cypriot stance that was the main reason for the failure of the negotiation process, which began on the island in 2008 and ended in 2017 with the closure of the conference on Cyprus without an outcome,” the ministry said.
The declaration stated that the countries support a resolution of the Cyprus problem in line with “the EU acquis, that reunifies Cyprus and its people and which safeguards Cyprus’ sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity, without guarantees.”
Cyprus “is and will remain a member of the European Union after the settlement, and EU membership is the best safeguard for a reunified Cyprus,” it added.
But the Foreign Ministry said the declaration provided “yet another example of how the Greek Cypriot side takes advantage of its EU membership in its efforts to hinder a settlement,” Anadolu reported.
Only Turkey recognizes its own self-declared Republic in the occupied territory although it’s trying to get into the European Union while barring ships and planes from Cyprus, which already is, and refuses to accept the legitimate government.