Turkey is trying to create a crisis, but we won’t go down that road, President says

President Anastasiades on Friday said that we will not follow Turkey in the path it has chosen to create a crisis , but rather we will

continue to insist that international law, the EU, friendly countries and especially Greece can assist us in playing the role of a preventive force, so that any illegal action by Turkey can be successfully tackled.

Speaking during his visit to an army camp in the village of Kornos, accompanied by Defence Minister Savvas Angelides, the President said once again that our side aims at creating those conditions which will lead to a productive dialogue and to a solution to the Cyprus problem. He pointed out that the dialogue must lead to a functioning state based on EU principles and values that respect human rights.

The President said that we do not seek the militarization of the state , even though we are provoked and we will not respond to these provocations, pointing out that the National Guard is able to defend the territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus.

He said that those who speak of militarization and call on us to avoid this, are the ones who have invaded and occupy our homeland and maintain 43,000 Turkish troops in the occupied areas. The President also condemned Turkey’s attempts to set up a drone base and all its provocations in occupied Cyprus and in the island’s exclusive economic zone.

President Anastasiades said that all these provocations are taking place following the recent meeting called by UN Secretary General in Berlin, with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and the prospect of a conference in order to agree on the terms of reference that will allow the resumption of the talks.

He said that our side has expressed it determination and will to assist the UNSG in his effort but has, at the same time, made it clear that in order for a dialogue to resume, we must have more than a few terms of reference agreed upon. Cyprus President said once again that Turkey needs to finally realize that it must stop its illegal actions and provocations against the sovereign rights of a UN and an EU member state.

The President reaffirmed that we will continue our efforts and added that at the same time it is not possible for some of us to expect that we will engage in a dialogue under the Turkish threats in order to establish what they have demanded during the Crans Montana talks in the summer of 2017, thus a military base and permanent presence of the Turkish army.

He went on to say that Cyprus does not need the presence of such military forces.

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.

Turkey also dispatched several drilling, research and military vessels in areas that fall within the continental shelf/EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus.

Recently Turkey deployed unmanned aerial vehicle in an illegal airport, in the occupied areas of Cyprus., with reports in the Turkish press indicating that Ankara might to use the same airport as a base for F-16s and a port in the occupied village of Boghaz as a naval base.

In late November, Turkey and the Prime Minister of Libya signed a memorandum of understanding to delimitate maritime jurisdiction areas, causing the reaction of several countries, including that of Cyprus, Greece and Egypt, who said that the MoU violates international law and has no legal basis.

Source: Cyprus News Agency