16.07.2021 – 09:16
Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides has been on a preemptive “diplomatic strike” aimed at gaining support in Brussels, Washington and the international community to stop Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from revealing “surprises to the world” during a planned visit to the island with July 20.
Appearing as a guest on The Greek Current on Sunday, a podcast by the Greek-American Leadership Council in collaboration with Kathimerini, Christodoulides said it was critical that Erdogan be barred from taking “more provocative and illegal actions” that would negatively affect United States interests, the European Union and the international community.
Erdogan has been talking about his upcoming visit to northern Cyprus, giving special meaning to July 20 as “Day of Peace and Freedom” for Turkish Cypriots, the same day seen by Greek Cypriots in the south as a occupation when Turkish troops landed on the island.
While statements about Varosha, an abandoned ghost town in the north set to reopen, were expected to draw strong reactions from Greek Cypriots in the south, there were other rumors on social media that could have raised the alarm in Nicosia.
Erdogan said he would make a major announcement on July 20, prompting political experts on social media to question whether recent visits to the north by Pakistani personalities could signal an Islamic Republic attempt to establish diplomatic relations with an administration. Turkish Cypriot currently recognized by no country other than Turkey.
“We are using all available means, which are diplomatic, political and legal means, to stop Turkey,” Christodoulides said.
The Cypriot minister, who was in Brussels on Monday, held discussions with many of his counterparts including from France, which holds the presidency of the Security Council this month, but also the enemy of Egypt and Pakistan, India on the outskirts of the Council. Foreign Affairs.
According to the Cyprus News Agency, citing a diplomatic source, it was “particularly important for Cyprus to host a working breakfast for the EU Foreign Ministers, with the Egyptian Foreign Minister as a guest”, adding that the Egyptian Minister praised the role of Cyprus in the region, as he referred to his interventions in Turkey’s destabilizing role. ”
Cairo has been at odds with Ankara since 2014 after Erdogan questioned in a speech to the UN General Assembly the legitimacy of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, an army general back in 2013 when he overthrew the widely backed government. from the Muslim Brotherhood, a group favored by conservatives in Turkey.
Christodoulides, a former career diplomat, also argued that if Turkey continued with its plans during its visit to Varosha, further actions by Ankara could negatively affect the Middle East as well as the interests of the EU, US and the international community.
“If the international community is perceived by Turkey as weak or [në] decisive in its response, Ankara will see no reason to withdraw from the implementation of its planning regarding Varosha, ”said the minister.
“So what is important now is to act [pro] actively before Erdogan comes to Cyprus, before July 20, so that as I told you to stop Mr. “Erdogan to continue with more provocations,” the minister told the podcast.
Christodoulides said he also responded to a letter from US President Joe Biden and spoke by telephone with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, stressing his key message that “we are now acting preventively so that we do not face a a situation that is irreversible ”.
“We can not allow Erdogan to fulfill his promises to announce, as he called it, ‘surprises to the world’ during his next illegal visit to the occupied part of Cyprus.”
Christodoulides called on allies to join the effort, saying the only way to do so would be to “send a clear message of determination now to the international community.”
Cyprus has been divided for decades between a Turkish Cypriot north and a Greek Cypriot south, which also functions internationally as the Republic of Cyprus.
Multiple attempts to reach a solution collapsed one after the other, with the south insisting on a federal solution and the north wanting to split, with Turkish Cypriots accusing Greek Cypriots of not being sincere or willing to share equally island administration.
Translated and adapted from the Greek newspaper Kathimerini / konica.al