Cyprus Plays Down Tension With Turkey, Calls for Calmness

The Cypriot government has called for calmness and has played down tensions with Turkey over the drilling for natural gas dispute in the eastern Mediterranean.

Nicosia’s plea comes at a day when, according to reports, Turkey has sent its seismic vessel Barbaros to occupied Cyprus. Some Turkish media have characterized Barbaros’ mission as an invasion.

“We must stay calm and not get involved in a public relations game with Turkey”, Cypriot government spokesman Nikos Christodoulides said in a radio interview with Greek Skai.

Christodoulides denied reports that there is “a military atmosphere in the eastern Mediterranean,” and accused those who disseminate such alarmist information as “aiming to damage the interests and sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus or other vital sectors of the Cypriot economy.”

“Some reports and responses give the wrong picture and serve the plans of Turkey. We should all be very careful, “the Cypriot government spokesman said.

In Nicosia, Defense Minister Christoforos Fokaides, downplayed Turkey’s threats towards Cyprus saying that they were expected.

Speaking in Limassol, Fokaides said that there have been similar moves by Turkey in the past, during previous drillings in Cyprus EEZ.