Turkey should lose EU candidacy if it does not back off in East Med, says Cyprus

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Sun, 07 Jun 2020 - 10:42 GMT

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades talks during a news conference at the Presidential Palace in Nicosia, Cyprus July 10, 2017 - REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades talks during a news conference at the Presidential Palace in Nicosia, Cyprus July 10, 2017 - REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou

NICOSIA, June 7 (MENA) - Turkey should lose its status as a candidate for European Union accession if it does not step back from its aggressive approach in the eastern Mediterranean, the president of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades said in an interview with Politico.

Anastasiades said that Turkey’s increasingly assertive efforts to drill for oil and gas exploration off the coast of Cyprus are illegal because they infringe on the island’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

"Either they are compliant with the terms and conditions of any other candidate country, otherwise they could not be either a candidate or accepted," Anastasiades told Politico.

Anastasiades said that although Cyprus is “in favour of having Turkey as a member state of the European Union, we prefer to have a European neighbour rather than to have an aggressive state like Turkey is behaving."

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