In Greece, Oliver Varhelyi, the European Union’s commissioner for enlargement, presented his annual report on EU-Turkey relations to the EU Parliament on Monday, while criticizing the Ankara administration regarding Greece.
Varhelyi said, “Turkey’s situation, while objecting to Greece’s sovereignty over some of its islands, contradicts its efforts to de-escalate tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean.”
While the EU official said that Turkey’s flights over the Aegean were also “worrying”, he said, “Turkey is expected to remain openly committed to good neighborly interests, international agreements and, if necessary, to the peaceful resolution of disputes by applying to the International Court of Justice.”
‘THE CYPRUS PROBLEM STILL HAS HOPE OF RESOLUTION’
In Varhelyi’s report, the status of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus was also discussed. “The biggest challenge we have with Turkey is that they still have hopes of finding a solution to the Cyprus issue,” the EU official said.
While blaming Turkey, the Greek official said, “We need the Northern Cypriot community to participate in the UN-led analysis negotiations and to stop Turkey’s provocative actions in Maraş.” While emphasizing that Turkey is a key partner for the EU, Varhelyi said, “It is positive that tensions with Turkey have decreased in recent months.”
However, Varhelyi defended that Turkey continued to move away from the EU in the last period and said, “Therefore, the membership negotiations with Turkey have come to a standstill.”