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Tolerance of Turkey Risks War With Greece, Cyprus’ President Warns

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President Anastasiades pictured here with Greek PM Mitsotakis in June 2022 warned of the danger of war between Greece and Turkey. Credit: PM Press Office

On Sunday, President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades warned that the EU’s tolerance towards Turkey could bring about a military confrontation with Greece.

Drawing parallels with Russia and Ukraine, he said there could not be any absolution for a country that invades another illegally and that violates international law and every principle of European values ​​and ideals.

“It should be understood that as long as the international community, as long as the EU— and I say this boldly—turn a blind eye, accept, or tolerate Turkish behavior, it is like rewarding the bully who wants to be seen as a victim,” Anastasiades said.

Europe tolerates Turkey’s aggression towards Greece, Anastasiades says

“The behavior of…Erdogan cannot be explained otherwise,” Anastasiades maintained. “It is the tolerance of Europe that allows it. Otherwise, he would not have had the audacity before the UN, but also at the meeting in Prague…to show that he does not seek the solution of any problems in a friendly way with the neighboring states on the basis of international law.”

Erdogan continued his provocative rhetoric against Greece during the inaugural summit of the European Political Community in Prague on Thursday, accusing Athens of basing its policies on “lies.”

There is nothing worth discussing with Greece at the moment he said, as he warned that Turkey may retaliate against Greece’s violations.

Turkey’s President said Athens understood Ankara’s message when Turkish officials said “we may suddenly arrive one night,” a comment seen as a threat to a neighboring state.

Anastasiades questioned which aspect of international law allows Turkey to threaten the territorial sovereignty of Greece, ignore UN resolutions, or allow a minority community to determine the decisions of the majority.

“Double standards do not promote international law, but promote international injustice,” he said, warning that if the international community remains inactive, there might be a risk of a new war between EU member states who are purportedly NATO allies.

“That is when they will realize that their tolerance has brought disaster,” Anastasiades concluded.

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