A statement issued by a group of southern European Union states was called “one-sided” and out of touch, Turkey said on Saturday.
The treatment of Eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus and refugee issues in the Med9 joint statement is, like last year, biased and shortsighted, Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgiç said in a written statement. .
Bilgiç urged the EU countries that signed the declaration to abandon their unilateral stance, in which they blindly followed Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration under the guise of solidarity.
The Med9 summit on Friday brought together the EU countries bordering the Mediterranean, namely the leaders of Spain, France, Italy, Malta, Greece, Slovenia, Croatia and the Greek Cypriot administration as well as the Portuguese Minister of Foreign Affairs and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.
The participants also adopted a joint declaration on issues of political and humanitarian importance, making reference to peace, security and stability in the Mediterranean as a strategic priority for the EU.
Cyprus is mired in a decades-long dispute between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, despite a series of UN diplomatic efforts to reach a comprehensive settlement.
Ethnic attacks that began in the early 1960s forced Turkish Cypriots to retreat to enclaves for their safety.
In 1974, a Greek Cypriot coup aimed at annexing Greece led to Turkey’s military intervention as a guarantor power to protect Turkish Cypriots from persecution and violence. As a result, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) was founded in 1983.
It has seen an intermittent peace process in recent years, including an initiative that failed in 2017 in Switzerland under the auspices of the guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the United Kingdom.
The Greek Cypriot administration entered the EU in 2004, the same year the Greek Cypriots thwarted the UN’s Annan plan to end the long-standing dispute.