EU Parliament rejects discussion on Turkey’s marine activities

European Parliament President Martin Schulz is reported to have backed down from a proposed discussion on Turkey’s current marine activities offshore Cyprus. Schulz reportedly told the heads of all EU parliament parties at an agenda meeting on Thursday that this was not the time to have such a discussion in the parliament, ‘Cyprus Mail’ reports.

This move is especially embarrassing for Greek Cypriot House President and head of EDEK Yiannakis Omirou, who met with Schulz on Wednesday and was assured of his cooperation.

The paper states that Socialist EDEK is at a loss for words after a decision by the Schultz, the former leader of the European Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats (S&D) to prevent a discussion at the European Parliament on Turkey’s activities around the island’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

EDEK, a long-time member of the S&D, had previously received assurances that the socialists would allow the discussion on the EU parliament floor – which would probably have ended with a resolution condemning Turkey.

“We are evaluating the news now. We are still trying to see what really went on,” an EDEK official told ‘Cyprus Mail’ on Friday.

The proposal was put forward by the European United Left – Nordic Green Left (GUE-NGL) and was supported by the largest political group in the parliament, the European People’s Party (EPP).

The European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) party also reportedly rejected the proposal.

The Greek Cypriot government has yet to officially respond on the matter.

Currently Turkey has deployed the naval frigate ‘Gelibolou’ to monitor drilling by the Eni-Kogas consortium in bloc 9 of South Cyprus’ EEZ. It also issued a NAVTEX warning to mariners that it would be conducting its own seismic surveys, in areas declared to by the South’s EEZ from 20th October. This move prompted Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades to walk away from the Cyprus negotiations.

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