Cyprus President underlines his strong will for a positive outcome of the meeting in Berlin

President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, met on Wednesday, October 30, with the President of the Hellenic Republic, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, in Athens.

During their meeting, President Anastasiades, expressed the Cypriot government’s strong will and determination for a positive conclusion of the meeting which the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres will have on November 25 in Berlin with the President of Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci.

“We coordinate our actions with Greece, in order to have an agreement on the terms of reference during the meeting, that will be held on 25 November, in Berlin, Anastasiades said, while underlining that Turkey’s preconditions are not helpful and cannot be accepted.

The President of the Republic of Cyprus also thanked the President of the Hellenic Republic for Greece’s genuine support to the government’s efforts for a solution to the Cyprus problem. He stressed that the Cypriot government is going to Berlin hoping that the conditions for the resumption of the negotiation process for a solution to the Cyprus problem will be met.

On his part, President of the Hellenic Republic, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, thanked President Anastasiades for his stance during the whole negotiation process, a stance which defends the rights of the Republic of Cyprus, as he said.

Pavlopoulos also underlined that the Cyprus problem is not a bilateral issue, but rather an international and a European one. In this context, he stressed that any future solution must respect the European acquis, which stipulates that the Republic of Cyprus can be conceived only as a federal state. The President of the Hellenic Republic added that the European primary law states that the sovereignty is single, making the presence of occupation troops and third-party guarantees unacceptable.

As regards Turkish violations in the Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Pavlopoulos stressed that Turkey must come to terms with the fact that it is bounded by the Law of the Sea and the Montego Bay Convention.

According to a navigational warning issued by Turkey, Turkish drill ship “Yavuz”, which has returned to Cyprus’ EEZ, will carry out drilling operations inside block 7, located off the south-western coast of Cyprus. Block 7 has been licensed by the government of Cyprus to France’s Total and Italy’s ENI for drilling operations.

“Yavuz, was anchored off the island’s north-eastern coast on July 8 and operated within the territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus, until September 17, when it departed for a Turkish port in Mersin.

Moreover, Turkey issued a navigational telex (navtex), announcing its intention to start drilling off Cyprus and since 4 May 2019, the Turkish drill ship Fatih has been anchored 36 nautical miles west of Akamas peninsula. The area falls within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus. Ankara extended the navtex until November 1, 2019.

The EU Foreign Affairs Council agreed on October 14 that a framework regime of restrictive measures targeting natural and legal persons responsible for or involved in the illegal drilling activity of hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean is put in place, and invited the High Representative and the Commission to swiftly present proposals to this effect.

The European Council endorsed during its meeting on October 17 and 18 the EU Foreign Affairs Council conclusions on Turkey’s illegal drilling activities in Cyprus’Exclusive Economic Zone and reaffirmed its solidarity with Cyprus, adding that it will remain seized of thismatter.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The last round of negotiations, in the summer of 2017, at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

Source: Cyprus News Agency