Cyprus’ sovereignty and sovereign rights must be respected, Romania stresses

Romania has reaffirmed its solidarity with Nicosia, as regards the continuing Turkish illegal activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, stressing the need for respecting Cyprus’ sovereignty and sovereign rights in accordance to the international law.

Speaking during a reception hosted on Thursday evening by the Romanian embassy to Cyprus, on the occasion of the National Day of Romania, the country’s Charge daffaires to Cyprus, Daniela Sezonov Tane, expressed hope that after the trilateral meeting in Berlin between the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, Cyprus President, Nicos Anastasiades, and Turkish Cypriot leader, Mustafa Akinci, the dialogue aiming to solve the Cyprus problem will restart in a few months’ time and praised the efforts of President Anastasiades, Turkish Cypriot leader M. Akinci and UN SG in this regard.

Romania follows full of expectations and interest the developments concerning the Cyprus problem. We strongly support the reunification of the country, under the framework of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation. Related to Turkey illegal activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, we reaffirm our solidarity with Cyprus, regarding the respect of its sovereignty and sovereignty rights in accordance to the international law, Tane noted.

On his part, speaking during the reception, Cyprus Defence Minister, Savvas Angelides, said that despite the difficulties, President Anastasiades � as demonstrated most recently at the Berlin meeting three days ago remains fully committed to supporting the efforts of the UN Secretary General to create a conducive environment for the resumption of negotiations, from the point where they were suspended in Crans Montana.

It is particularly important that the Secretary-General has reaffirmed in Berlin his decisiveness to continue these efforts, in collaboration with the two leaders and the guarantor powers, by convening an informal five-part meeting, with the mandate to conclude the terms of reference, which will allow for the resumption of a targeted and creative dialogue with the aim of reaching a settlement on the basis of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, in line with the international and EU law, the Minister noted

Moreover, Angelides said that the ties of friendship and cooperation that define the bilateral relationship between Cyprus and Romania are well founded on historically strong people to people contacts, stemming inter alia from our shared cultural and religious traditions and experiences. These contacts are as strong as ever today, thanks in part to the large number of Cypriots and Romanians who choose to benefit from our joint membership of the European Union, in order to visit, live, study and work, conversely, in Romania and Cyprus, he added.

At the same time, he said, I note with satisfaction that the institutional framework for our bilateral cooperation has been growing stronger and stronger in recent years, reflecting our mutual will and determination to further enhance existing cooperation and expand it to new areas.

In this respect, Angelides said, the accession of both our countries to the European Union has naturally acted as a catalyst in the development of an expanding and continuous dialogue, guided by our shared principles and our firm belief in democratic values, the rule of law and respect for human rights and international law.

On her part referring to the bilateral relations between Cyprus and Romania, Tane said that this is an auspicious period for them. Morever, she noted, inter alia, that the Republic of Cyprus remains the 4th foreign investor in Romania and that there are around 40.000 Romanians living and working in Cyprus.

A collection of ancient Romanian handicrafts was exhibited during the reception. Tane said that the Cypriot Fervolites and the Romanian lace work are quite similar and we are thinking to join our efforts for introducing them in the list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The reception was attended by Cyprus House President, Demetris Syllouris, other officials and foreign diplomats.

The UN Secretary-General said in a statement after his meeting on Monday in Berlin with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci that he committed to explore with Anastasiades, Akinci and the guarantor powers the possibility to convene an informal five party meeting on Cyprus at an appropriate stage.

Guterres also noted that the leaders of Cyprus affirmed their commitment to the Joint Declaration of 11 February 2014, the prior convergences, and the six point framework he presented on 30 June 2017 with a view to achieve a strategic agreement paving the way forward for a comprehensive settlement.

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

In early October 2019, Turkey, through the state-owned Turkish Petroleum Company, deployed its drilling vessel the Yavuz within the EEZ/continental shelf of Cyprus, in offshore exploration block 7, which has been licensed by the Government of Cyprus to European oil and gas companies (Total and ENI).

The drilling point lies just 44 nautical miles from the coast of Cyprus, within the EEZ/continental shelf of Cyprus, which has already been delimited, in accordance with international law, between the relevant opposite coastal states, namely the Republic of Cyprus and the Arab Republic of Egypt, by means of the EEZ delimitation agreement of 2003. The said drilling operations are planned to continue until 10 January 2020, as set out in an unauthorized navigational warning issued by Turkey.

This is the third consecutive illegal drilling since May 2019, when another Turkish drilling vessel, namely the Fatih, commenced its operations in the EEZ/continental shelf of Cyprus, at a distance of about 36 nautical miles from its western coast. Yavuz, which is now positioned in exploration block 7 of the EEZ/continental shelf of Cyprus, had previously completed another such drilling within the territorial sea of Cyprus, approximately 10 nautical miles from the north-eastern coast of the island Karpas, infringing the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus.

Source: Cyprus News Agency