The Latest: Cyprus seeks EU support against Turkey drilling
The Associated Press
May 09, 2019 03:35 AM
A child walks by boards depicting the creation of the Bucharest EU Children Declaration, a call for EU leaders to make child participation a priority, by children supported by UNICEF in the Piata Mare square in the Transylvanian town of Sibiu, Romania, Wednesday, May 8, 2019. European Union leaders hold an EU summit in Sibiu on Thursday to start setting out a course for increased political cooperation in the wake of the impending departure of the United Kingdom from the bloc.
The Latest on the European Union summit in Romania (all times local):
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades is seeking support from other European Union leaders at an informal summit in Romania against Turkey’s bid to drill for hydrocarbons in waters where the Mediterranean island nation has exclusive economic rights.
Cypriot government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said Anastasiades raised the issue during a Thursday meeting of the European People’s Party ahead of the summit, informing leaders about “Turkey’s blatant and unprecedented violations” of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone.
Prodromou said Anastasiades’ EPP counterparts “condemn the Turkish intervention (and) call on Turkey to abandon these illegal activities.”
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said he would also bring up the matter, which was “a European issue and not just a Cypriot one,” adding that “international law cannot be violated.”
Turkey says its actions adhere to international law.
Even at a summit of unity, European Union leaders will always find something to disagree about.
The 27 EU nations, minus Britain, will be plotting a united way ahead in the wake of Brexit negotiations which have preoccupied the bloc for the past two years.
Britain is still nominally a member, but Prime Minister Theresa May is staying in London seeking a belated breakthrough to get the Brexit deal through the U.K. Parliament.
In the Romanian president’s hometown of Sibiu, the other EU leaders will be seeking to start dealing with the five-yearly rite of attributing top jobs, now that European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker are leaving later this year. It promises to be a mighty tussle.