NICOSIA – Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, who’s gotten nowhere in trying to stop Turkey from drilling for energy offshore, didn’t even mention that country’s name in talks with Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez of Spain – which is selling arms to Turkey.
The two did a diplomatic dance around the issue, said the site Philenews, in an apparent attempt not to provoke Turkey any further or put Sanchez in an embarrassing spot after Greece ripped him over the deal.
Instead, the two just mostly discussed how swell relations were between them even though Spain is arming Turkey, which unlawfully invaded the island in 1974 and still occupies the northern third.
The report noted that while there were references to all issues concerning Turkey’s uptick in provocations while defying soft European Union sanctions that neither leader dared mention its name in a joint communique.
Anastasiades was in Madrid for talks and it was reported that Sanchze promised the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council that Spain will support stricter measures against Turkey if they’re even taken.
The EU on Dec. 13 is due to again discuss whether to get tougher on Turkey after it moved to further open part of the abandoned resort of Varosha on the occupied side – in defiance of a United Nations resolution.
The EU has been reluctant to go too far with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in fear he will unleash more refugees and migrants on the bloc, mostly through Greece and its islands.
The UN has also ignored Anastasiades’ repeated entreaties to get Turkey out of Cypriot waters that Turkey claims as its own and Spain, along with Germany, didn’t back Greece’s call for sanctions over Turkey’s plans to hunt for energy around Greek islands.
The common denominator is business: Germany sells arms to Turkey and there are a number of Spanish companies in Turkey that Sanchez reportedly was trying to protect while claiming solidarity with Greece and Cyprus.
In-Cyprus reported that Anastasiades, who also met the King, briefed them both about Varosha and Turkey’s continuing to look for oil and gas in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) but it wasn’t said what the response was.
Despite that, it was said that Anastasiades was happy with the meeting without saying whether anything came of it other than a cordial talk and photo opportunity for them.