Cyprus against the clock to stop Erdogan

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Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides launched a preemptive diplomatic strike aimed at garnering support from Brussels, Washington and the international community to prevent Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from revealing “surprises to the world” during a planned visit to the island. July 20.

Appearing as a guest on Sunday on The Greek Current, a Hellenic American Leadership Council podcast in collaboration with Kathimerini, Christodoulides said it was essential that Erdogan be prevented from doing “more provocative and illegal actions” that would negatively affect the interests of the United States. States, the European Union and the international community.

Erdogan spoke of his forthcoming visit to the northern part of Cyprus, ascribing July 20 special significance to the “Day of Peace and Freedom” for Turkish Cypriots, the same hot summer day in 1974 considered by the Turkish Cypriots. Southern Greek Cypriots like an invasion. when Turkish troops landed on the island in response to a Greek-inspired coup organized by Athens.

While statements about Varosha, an abandoned ghost town in the north about to reopen, are expected to spark strong backlash from southern Greek Cypriots, further rumors on social media could have sounded the alarm in Nicosia.

Erdogan said he would make a big announcement on July 20, prompting political experts on social media to question whether recent visits to the north by Pakistani dignitaries could signal an attempt by the Islamic Republic to establish diplomatic relations with a Turkish Cypriot administration currently recognized by no other country 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, spoke with many of his counterparts including France, which holds the presidency of the Security Council this month, but also Egypt and India, enemies of Pakistan, on the sidelines of the Foreign Affairs Council.

According to the Cypriot News Agency, citing a diplomatic source, it was “particularly important for Cyprus to organize the working breakfast for the EU foreign ministers, with the Egyptian foreign minister as the ‘guest ”, adding that the Egyptian minister“ welcomed the role of Cyprus in the region, while he spoke of his interventions in the destabilizing role of Turkey.

Cairo has been at odds with Ankara since 2014 after Erdogan in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly questioned the legitimacy of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, an army general in 2013 when he toppled the government which had broad support from the Muslim Brotherhood, a group favored by conservatives in Turkey.

Christodoulides, a former career diplomat, also argued that if Turkey continues with its plans during the visit to Varosha, other actions by Ankara could negatively influence the Middle East as well as the interests of the EU, United States and the international community.

“If the international community is perceived by Turkey as weak or [in]decisive in its response, Ankara will see no reason to backtrack on the implementation of its planning for Varosha ”, declared the minister.

“So what is important now is to act [pro]actively before Mr Erdogan comes to Cyprus, before July 20, in order, as I told you, to prevent Mr Erdogan from carrying out further provocations, ”the minister told the podcast.

Christodoulides said he also responded to a letter from US President Joe Biden and spoke on the phone with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, stressing his main message that “we are acting now, preemptively, so that we do not find themselves faced with an irreversible situation “.

“We cannot allow Mr Erdogan to keep his promises to announce, as he called it, ‘surprises to the world’ on his next illegal visit to the occupied part of Cyprus.”

Christodoulides called on the allies to join the effort, saying the only way to do so would be “to now send a clear message of determination on the part of 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 efforts to reach a settlement have collapsed one after another, with the south insisting on a federal solution and the north wanting to go their separate ways, with the Turkish Cypriots accusing the Greek Cypriots of not being sincere or willing to share the same equally. administration of the island. [Kathimerini Cyprus]


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