The government should not cultivate illusions
Statement by the General Secretary of AKEL A.Kyprianou
AKEL C.C. Press Office, 16th June 2020, Nicosia
AKEL is certainly interested in an international initiative being taken that should aim at de-escalating the tension in the Eastern Mediterranean. That is to say, in a de-escalation of the tension that will attempt to dampen Turkey’s aggression, its increasing provocative acts and which will aim at the peaceful resolution of disputes in our neighborhood on the basis of international law.
In recent days, the government, and particularly the Foreign Minister, has spoken about an international initiative being taken. Indeed, he raised the bar so high that many people were hopeful that the forthcoming EU Council of Foreign Ministers – in which US Secretary of State Pompeo also participated – would announce an initiative to de-escalate the tension in the Eastern Mediterranean and that there will be a strong transatlantic message conveyed to Turkey.
Ultimately, there wasn’t any joint US-EU statement whatsoever on Turkey, but unfortunately for us, neither did Mr. Pompeo show the necessary interest in Turkey’s aggressiveness against Cyprus and Greece. As Mr. Borel himself told us, Mr. Pompeo was more interested in the situation in Libya and in preventing Turkey from aligning itself with Russia and China. These are the issues the United States is concerned about, and not what the government is saying with its pompous statements.
I repeat that yet again the government has raised the bar extremely high and unfortunately it has been refuted and with it of course the Cypriot people’s expectations have also been refuted. For that reason, we call on the government not to continue this kind of foreign policy, not to try to influence public opinion on the domestic front with pompous announcements and not to cultivate any illusions about what is about to happen.
We need to focus on how we manage to stop Turkey’s provocative actions and aggression. AKEL’s view is that they will be reversed, they will only be stopped if and provided that we manage to convince Turkey through practical action that by solving the problems in our neighborhood, with the existence of peaceful relations with its neighboring countries, it will manage to become a part of the discussions on the exploitation of the natural wealth that exists in the Eastern Mediterranean basin. We therefore need to convince Turkey that with the correct solution to the Cyprus problem, Turkey itself will gain benefits, benefits that will stem from its participation in the wider discussions surrounding the utilisation of natural gas.
Intervention of Georgos Koukoumas, member of the C.C. of AKEL and the International Relations Department, at the Hearing “Palestine: What’s Next?” organized by GUE/NGL2015-07-1
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