Nicosia ready to deal with Turkey’s illegal drilling in Cyprus’ EEZ, says government

Nicosia has said it is ready to address Ankara’s design’s in its Exclusive Economic Zone, in a calm, serious and effective manner.

“We are ready to face Turkeys threats and plans for illegal drilling in Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone, as we have done so far, in an effective and cool manner,” Deputy Government Spokesman Victoras Papadopoulos has said, invited to comment on the fact that Turkey is moving ahead with its plans in Block 6 of Cyprus’ EEZ and has already issued an illegitimate Navtex.

Speaking on Tuesday after a Cabinet meeting, Papadopoulos pointed out that the government will exercise its sovereign rights as it has done to date, and at the same time it will continue its effective policy. He also said that it will protest Turkey’s illegal Navtex.

Papadopoulos was also asked to comment on a statement by Greek FM Nikos Kotzias that Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan has accepted exploratory contacts between Greece and Turkey in relation to issues concerning the international aspect of the Cyprus problem.

The Deputy Spokesman said that Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has made it clear and has said so to the UNSG during the General Assembly last September, that he is ready to continue the negotiations on the internal aspect of the problem. The President also said, with regard to the international aspect of the Cyprus issue and the convening of a new conference, good preparation by all sides is essential so that a new conference can yield results.

He added that Cyprus is working closely with the Greek government and there is full understanding and consensus on how this will be achieved.

He also said that this was one of the issues that Greek Premier Alexis Tsipras brought up during his recent meeting with President Erdogan in Athens.

Papadopoulos said that everyone will be judged by his positions and actions after the presidential elections in Cyprus in early 2018.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. The leaders of the two communities, President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci have been engaged in UN-backed talks since May 2015 with the aim to reunite the island under a federal roof.

The latest round of negotiations, in July this year, ended inconclusively due to unacceptable demands by both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots to maintain Turkish military presence on the island and retain the right of intervention and the right of guarantee which Ankara secured through the 1960 treaties that established the Republic of Cyprus.

Source: Cyprus News Agency