President says decisions with regard to the maritime areas will constitute a federal competence in reunited Cyprus

Decisions with regard to the maritime areas (territorial sea, contiguous zone, continental shelf, and exclusive economic zone) as defined by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982, will constitute a federal competence in reunited Cyprus, President Nicos Anastasiades has said.

In a written statement issued on Wednesday, in light of recent statements and rhetoric by Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots, the President points out that in relation to the issue of exploration and exploitation of natural resources of the Republic of Cyprus, the convergence reached during the negotiations between President Christofias and Mr. Talat, which provides that decisions with regard to the maritime areas (territorial sea, contiguous zone, continental shelf, and exclusive economic zone) as defined by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982, will constitute a federal competence in reunited Cyprus, remains valid.

This convergence was reconfirmed in the latest round of negotiations, and was never challenged by the Turkish side, he says.

The Government of the Republic of Cyprus, he adds, has taken an important step that proves in a tangible way its commitment to the principle that the natural resources of the island belong to the State and all the legal citizens of the Republic of Cyprus, and our goal is to fully explore Cyprus’s hydrocarbon potential, in the best terms possible, so as to maximize the benefits for all the people of Cyprus.

To this end, the Government has submitted for approval to the House of Representatives a Bill, which provides for the establishment of a sovereign fund for the management of any future hydrocarbon resources, safeguarding the interests of current and future generations of all Cypriots, based on the Norwegian model, internationally recognized principles and best practices, President says.

Consequently, he says, the statements and rhetoric by Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots are unjustified and unfounded, and do not serve the best interests of the Cypriot people. In this context, the planning of the Republic of Cyprus in the field of energy will proceed accordingly.

The President also publicly once again calls on Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot community, to immediately respond to his call to return to the negotiating table, provided that this is preceded by the termination of the violation of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus in its exclusive economic zone.

Drillship Saipem 12000, commissioned by Italian energy company ENI, was halted on the 9th of February by Turkish warships en route to a location within block 3 of Cyprus EEZ.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. The latest round of UN-peace talks commenced at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana on June 28, but in the early hours of July 7, it was announced that the Conference on Cyprus ended without an agreement. Talks held under the auspices of the UN aim at reunifying Cyprus under a federal roof.

Source: Cyprus News Agency