Cyprus’ President hopes there would not be any Turkish provocations in relation to energy

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades expressed Monday hope that there will not be any Turkish provocations in relation to hydrocarbons exploration in Cyprus EEZ, that would jeopardize the interests of big companies and Cypriot people and also damage the interests of Turkey.

Replying to questions during a televised a press conference, at the Presidential Palace, in Nicosia, to evaluate the outcome of settlement in Crans Montana and asked how Cyprus would respond to a Turkish challenge, the President said that the tribune available to the Republic of Cyprus due to its size and its military force is nothing more than the international tribune, the EU, the international law and the law of the sea.

“We will react as appropriate, as we have done in the past, wishing that there would be no provocations to (affect) the interests of either the big companies or the interests of the Cypriot people, he said adding that such a move would also harm the interests of Turkey.

French energy company Total in consortium with Italian Eni, is set to start drilling in Block 11 of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) by the end of this week.

Replying to another question the President of Cyprus said that the issues of the right of intervention and guarantees in Cyprus, are two connected issues that could not be separated from one another. He added that Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told him that he was ready to come to Crans Montana until the last minute, if there was an agreement and a clarification on the issue. He added that the issue is not where to attribute the responsibility, but to achieve real progress in order to have a solution to the Cyprus problem.

Asked whether he expects this to be recorded in the report of UN Secretary General, the President said “I can’t say. It would be right to be recorded. He added that “many times – not one – the objective quote of events was passed over either in order not cancel the renewal of the effort or out of expediency. He added that is not the Secretary General but others, those who are writing the report.

On the new report by the Secretary-General on the renewal of UNFICYP, the President said that he did not think there would be any difference from the present situation.

The President also said that the Government would do its utmost to mobilize the international community so as to convince Turkey to change its positions, according to which, the President said, there could not be an independent sovereign state but a potential Ankara protectorate.

Saying that frustration for the failure of this effort between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots is expected, he added that the failure ” is not our responsibility but of those who want to extend their sovereignty to an independent EU member state .

The President also said that he had proposed to give a joint press conference with Mustafa Akinci to announce the convergences in order to give the real picture of the issues on which they had agreed, to avoid withdrawals by either side and to create the conditions to resolve smaller and bigger differences in order to conclude on the internal aspects of the Cyprus problem. Unfortunately, my proposal was not accepted,” he added.

“Without doubt the outcome of Crans Montana is not the most pleasant and certainly there is a climate of mistrust regarding the intentions of the other side, but we must stay calm and stick to the efforts in order to avoid the worst,” he said.

Asked on the role of Britain and UN Secretary General Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide, Anastasiades refrained from any comment, saying that “silence is often a response.”

Asked about the possibility of revising the basis of the solution of the Cyprus problem, Anastasiades said that there are dangers, such as helping Ankaras plans for Plan B and the creation of two states.

Asked if he has invested more than was due in the Turkish Cypriot leader, he said that “it is not a matter of investment, it is a matter of will to negotiate.

I have no doubt that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Akinci, is more Cypriot than anything else,” he added.

The President said that if the umbilical cord of the occupied areas in Cyprus with Turkey remains, Turkish Cypriots would be controlled by Turkey.

In conclusion, the President of the Republic sent the message that both Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots should join forces to create prospects for a true independence and a state entity of the Republic of Cyprus as an EU member state that will safeguard the rights of all.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern part. UN-backed talks that took place on June 28-July 7, in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, ended inconclusively. Peace talks aim to reunite Cyprus under a federal roof.

Source: Cyprus News Agency