WORLD


Turkey blasts ‘biased’ declaration of EU's Med9 countries

Baku, September 18, AZERTAC

A new declaration by a group of southern EU states is one-sided and divorced from reality, Turkey said on Saturday, according to Anadolu Agency.

The treatment of issues of the Eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus, and refugees in the Med9 joint declaration are, like last year’s, biased and short-sighted, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic in a written statement.

Bilgic urged the EU countries that signed the declaration to abandon their one-sided attitude, in which they followed blindly Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration under the guise of solidarity.

Nine European countries bordering the Mediterranean met at the EU Med9 summit in Athens under on Friday.

The summit brought together the leaders of Spain, France, Italy, Malta, Greece, Greek Cyprus, Slovenia, and Croatia, as well as the Portuguese foreign minister and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

The participants also adopted a joint declaration on issues of political and humanitarian significance, referring to peace, security, and stability in the Mediterranean as a strategic priority to the EU.

Cyprus has been mired in a decades-long dispute between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, despite a series of diplomatic efforts by the UN to achieve a comprehensive settlement.

Ethnic attacks starting in the early 1960s forced Turkish Cypriots to withdraw into enclaves for their safety.

In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aimed at Greece's annexation led to Turkey's military intervention as a guarantor power to protect Turkish Cypriots from persecution and violence. As a result, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) was founded in 1983.

It has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including a failed 2017 initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece, and the UK.

The Greek Cypriot administration entered the EU in 2004, the same year Greek Cypriots thwarted the UN's Annan plan to end the longstanding dispute.

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