Turkey will have to prove its will for substantial negotiations soon, says Cyprus Government Spokesman

Cyprus Government Spokesman, Prodromos Prodromou, said on Sunday that it would be clear in the near future whether Turkey has the will and the courage to come to terms with the international law, respect Cyprus’ freedom and human rights and enter into substantial negotiations.

He also assured that Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades will participate in the meeting of the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres with President Anastasiades and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, that will take place in Berlin on November 25. with a clear political will and willingness to create the conditions for the resumption of the negotiations.

In his speech at a memorial service for the hero of the anti-colonial struggle Yiorgos Karios, Prodromou said that “with its clear expansive aspirations being implemented next to us, in Syria, Turkey is still occupying a large part of our country, which it is trying to Turkify, while invading the sea and attempting to usurp a large part of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone.”

He added that Turkey has also threatened with the colonization of the fenced-off city of Famagusta, which Ankara is obliged to hand over to its rightful inhabitants and owners even before the solution of the Cyprus problem. At the same time, he said Turkey is trying to destabilize the situation with repeated violations of the buffer zone.

Prodromou pointed out that Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades was trying for two years, since the

deadlock that Turkey caused at the UN Conference on Cyprus, to resume substantial negotiations from where they were interrupted, aiming to capitalize the great diplomatic success of the inclusion by the UN Secretary General of the issue of security , with a clear reference to the abolition of the anachronistic guarantee system and the withdrawal of the Turkish army after the solution of the Cyprus problem.

“The effort so far runs counter to Turkeys intransigence and its reluctance to leave us Cypriots, through a compromise, to find a common future in a modern European state, in a state of justice and democracy that will fully respect the human rights of all” , he said.

The Republic of Cyprus, he noted, goes on with its efforts to liberate and reunify Cyprus by diplomatic and political means. Prodromou alsoreferred to the solidarity, and sanctions imposed for the first time by the EU due to the illegal Turkish actions in Cyprus EEZ and the international condemnation of these actions.

He also referred to the latest UN Secretary Generals initiative to resume negotiations, saying that the President and the Greek Cypriot side have responded positively and look forward to engage in meaningful negotiations, after Turkey abandons all of its aggressive approaches, allowing a proper climate to prevail.

“In the near future, it will be clear whether Turkey has the will, but also the courage to come to terms with the international law and to respect Cyprus freedom and the human rights of Cypriots and to enter into substantial negotiations, facing UN decisions and EU principles and international law rules, ” he said.

He added that it would soon be clear whether the Turkish Cypriot side can still negotiate on the basis of the Cypriot interests.

Replying to journalists questions after the memorial service, Prodromou also said that the President would participate in the meeting of November 25 with a clear political will and willingness to create the conditions for the resumption of the negotiations.

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