Turkish Cypriot side willing to sacrifice the future of TCs to be in favour with Ankara, says Spokesman

The Turkish Cypriot leadership, in an effort to be in favour with Ankara and serve its plans, is willing to sacrifice not only the rights of Turkish Cypriots but also their future, Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides has told CNA on Sunday.

He was invited to comment statements in an interview to Phileleftheros newspaper by Ozdil Nami, so called minister of economy and energy in the Turkish occupied north of Cyprus where he had said Turkey was in a position to block planned drilling in all areas of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and did not rule that out.

On Friday, drillship Saipem 12000, commissioned by Italian energy company ENI, to start drilling operations in block 3 of Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) was halted by five Turkish warships while making a new effort to reach Soupia target, which it was unable to fulfil due to Turkish threats.

The Government Spokesman said that it is remarkable that the Turkish Cypriot leadership, in an effort to be in favour with Ankara and serve its plans, is bent on sacrificing not only the rights of Turkish Cypriots but also their future.

Christodoulides further said from it is clear, from the conditions that Nami is setting, that even though there is a convergence on the negotiating table about the natural resources issue, Turkey is unwilling to resume the negotiations.

The convergence was reached during the negotiations between former President Demetris Christofias and former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali 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. This convergence, as President Nicos Anastasiades stated earlier this week, was reconfirmed in the latest round of negotiations, and was never challenged by the Turkish side.

President Anastasiades had also said that 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.

The Spokesman further said that Nami’s warnings about Turkey’s intentions are noteworthy, as they are in essence, warnings against the US, France, Italy, Israel, Egypt and naturally, the EU.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. The latest round of UN-peace talks, aimed at reunifying Cyprus under a federal roof, commenced at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana on June 28 2017 and ended July 7 when it was announced that the Conference on Cyprus ended without an agreement.

Source: Cyprus News Agency