Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias is visiting Nicosia on Wednesday for talks with his Cypriot counterpart ahead of a crucial special European Council meeting later this week.
According to the Greek foreign ministry, Dendias will meet with Cypriot Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides to coordinate between the two EU member states as their leaders prepare to attend a special European Council on Thursday and Friday.
“Their talks will focus on developments in the Eastern Mediterranean region and on coordination between Greece and Cyprus in view of the upcoming European Council meeting, as well as on issues of bilateral, European and regional interest,” the Greek statement said.
Special council talks taking place in Brussels on Thursday and Friday will focus on recent developments in the eastern Mediterranean.
EU expresses solidarity but resists Nicosia veto efforts
Last month, the members of the European Council expressed full solidarity with Greece and the Republic of Cyprus, recalling and reaffirming previous conclusions on Turkish drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean.
But the European Union appears to be divided over Cyprus’ demands for the Special Council to impose sanctions on Ankara, with Nicosia refusing to go along with the rest of the group on Belarus unless both sanctions move forward.
Cyprus says Turkish exploration in Cypriot exclusive economic zone is illegal and a threat to stability in the region, while Ankara accuses Athens and Nicosia of seeking to form partnerships that seek to cut off Turkey from the energy game in the area.
President of the European Council Charles Michel, who visited Cyprus last month, had initially signaled that all options were on the table, before postponing the meeting, citing coronavirus concerns.
“We agreed to come back to these issues during our meeting in September. All options will be on the table,” Michel had said.
But observers and media pundits say some European leaders are less likely to support further sanctions against Turkey, saying they are an ineffective mechanism to address the dispute.
A meeting on the eastern Mediterranean has also been thrown around as another idea, which would address a number of hot button issues, including the Cyprus Problem, Greek-Turkish relations, energy exploration, and Libya.