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Anastasiades deplores Turkey’s ‘gunboat diplomacy’

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Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has deplored Turkey’s “gunboat diplomacy,” saying that Ankara’s illicit activity in the Eastern Mediterranean undermines the prospects of reaching a settlement on the ethnically-split island.

Speaking at the UN General Assembly in New York, Anastasiades said that Turkey’s actions within the contours of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) are not only in violation of international law, but “severely undermine the aim of having a conductive environment for meaningful negotiations.”

“While I do not intend to embark on a blame game, yet, I am not allowed – and the dignity of our people dictates not to do so – to accept the gunboat diplomacy, blackmail tactics, and the attempts to force our side to negotiate under duress,” he said.

In the same speech, Anastasiades questioned whether UN efforts to resume talks have any chance of succeeding given Turkey’s aggression as manifest in its violations of Cyprus’ EEZ, the threats of war should Nicosia proceed with its energy program, as well as the intimidation of foreign states and companies involved in offshore drilling.