NICOSIA – United States Sen. Robert Menendez, a strong defender of Cyprus, said he believes Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan plans at some point to annex the occupied northern third of Cyprus.
The New Jersey Democrat said it’s because Erdogan has seen Russian President Vladimir Putin – whose country is a member of the United Nations Security Council – get away with doing it in Ukraine after invading.
“Erdogan sees the illegal annexation of part of Ukraine and takes note. Because he wants to do the same in northern Cyprus and annex the occupied territories,” he said, said Middle East Eye.
In September, Erdogan said he would increase troop numbers on the occupied side where Turkey keeps 40,000 soldiers and said they would never be removed, which led to the collapse of the last round of reunification talks on July, 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana.
Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades, whose government is a member of the European Union that Turkey has fruitlessly been trying to join since 2005, earlier said he thinks Turkey wants to take over the island.