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Politics

European Parliament Chief Defends EU’s Cyprus Stance with Turkey

BRUSSELS – European Parliament President Roberta Metsola said the European Union said she believes the bloc is adequately pushing Turkey for its 1974 invasion and occupation of the northern third of Cyprus.

In an interview with Phileleftheros, Metsola was responding to a question as to why Turkey has not been sanctioned as severely by Europe as Russia was when it invaded Ukraine.

She also said that the EU has frozen a few chapters of accession for Turkey’s hopes to join the bloc that’s been going on since 2005 and getting worse under the authoritarian rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

She said that while the European Parliament has several time asked for a tougher position that, “This is a decision that belongs exclusively to in the Council where unanimity is required,” a near-impossibility.

The EU has taken a much more active role in efforts to resolve the Cyprus issue and has participated at a high level in several rounds of negotiations, Metsola insisted, although Turkey and the Turkish-Cypriots don’t want any involvement.

“As I said in my first speech as President of the European Parliament, the European Union can never be truly whole as long as Cyprus remains divided,” she added although there’s essentially nothing she can do about it.

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