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Nicosia accuses Ankara of "undermining regional security"

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN. During a meeting in Nicosia, Wednesday, October 21, 2020, with the Cypriot and Egyptian presidents, Kyriakos Mitsotakis violently attacked Turkey accusing it of maintaining "imperialist fantasies accompanied by aggressive actions from Syria to Libya, through Somalia and Cyprus or the Aegean Sea and the Caucasus". The Greek prime minister denounced Ankara's "provocations". Echoing this, Nicos Anastasiades, President of Cyprus, said that "Turkey is constantly increasing tensions and undermining regional security."
In the Cypriot capital, the three presidents signed a joint communiqué to denounce Turkey's attitude in all these theaters of conflict. In particular, two of them.

First, the signing in 2019 of an agreement on the delimitation of their maritime spaces between Turkey and Libya in the Eastern Mediterranean. It was declared illegal by the three countries meeting in Cyprus and followed in August 2020 by a similar agreement between Athens and Cairo. Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, the Egyptian president, highlighted in Nicosia this text as an act showing what can be achieved when "international law and institutions are respected". An agreement swept aside by the Turkish president.

Oruç Reis extends its mission in the Eastern Mediterranean

The presence of the Oruç Reis in controversial waters fuels the conflict between Turkey and its Greek and Cypriot neighbors (photo: DR)
The presence of the Oruç Reis in controversial waters fuels the conflict between Turkey and its Greek and Cypriot neighbors (photo: DR)
Then, the arrival in July 2020 of Turkish prospecting vessels in controversial waters with rich natural gas potential, off the coast of Cyprus and in the immediate vicinity of the Greek island of Kastellorizo, was the straw that broke the diplomatic camel's back.
All the more so as Turkey persists in searching for hydrocarbons in this area, despite warnings from Greece, Cyprus, but also from France and the European Union. Recep Tayyip Erdogan justifies this incursion by his desire to protect the interests of the Turkish Cypriots. These have just been brought to the presidency of the TRNC (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus) by the current pro-Turkish Prime Minister Ersin Tatar, who is taking the place of Mustafa Akinci, who is in favor of a reunification of the Mediterranean island in the form of a federal state.

While Charles Michel, President of the European Council, reiterated, at a European summit, his threats of sanctions against Ankara, Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent the ship Oruç Reis back on site on October 12, 2020. On the evening of Wednesday, October 21, 2020, he even announced the extension of this mission which was to end on Thursday, October 22, 2020. An extension planned at least until October 27, 2020, as the Turkish Navy has specified.

Frédéric Dubessy

Thursday, October 22nd 2020

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