Larnaca.- (GreekNewsOnline, CNA)
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, said on Saturday that he expects to be informed during the next days about the discussion the German Chancellor Angela Merkel had on Friday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during their meeting in Turkey.
Anastasiades asked on Thursday the German Chancellor, during a telephone conversation they had, to convey a message to the President of Turkey, for the immediate termination of Turkish illegal activities in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone, while calling on Turkey to conform with the relevant European Council decisions and conclusions.
“We agreed (with Merkel) during our telephone conversation that she would convey messages and it seems that she did so. I expect to be informed (about the discussion) during the next days as soon as she returns,” from her visit to Turkey, he added.
Replying to questions, the President said that Turkey’s activities have caused the crisis in the wider region. “They are already in bloc 8 (of Cyprus’ EEZ) and proceed in a provocative way, defying the international law, to drillings,” he noted.
Turkey has dispatched drillship Yavuz to conduct a drilling operation off the south of the island of Cyprus, that has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks for a Cyprus settlement have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.
The Cyprus government has condemned Turkey’s newly planned illegal drilling within the Exclusive Economic Zone and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus, noting that Turkey, provocatively ignoring the repeated calls by the international community and the European Union, to terminate its illegal activities in Cyprus’ EEZ, is now attempting to carry out a “new illegal drilling in the southern EEZ/continental shelf of Cyprus, inside exploration block 8, which was duly licensed to the European companies ENI and TOTAL”.
“This new attempted drilling constitutes yet another flagrant violation of the sovereign rights and jurisdiction of the Republic of Cyprus under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, as well as the relevant customary International Law, and completely disregards the international EEZ delimitation agreements already in force between Cyprus and Israel, and Cyprus and Egypt, respectively,” a statement issued by the Presidency of Cyprus has said.
Cyprus Government Spokesman Kyriakos Koushos has told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) that any licensing of a block for oil and gas exploration affecting the interests of third parties or is the result of the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between Turkey and Libya is contrary to the international law and cannot be accepted.
Koushos was invited to comment on a news report by “Phileleftheros” daily according to which Turkey will proceed with licensing the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) for oil and gas exploration in an area of the maritime zone that it has agreed with Libya. Asked how Nicosia will address such an action, the spokesman said that “our long-standing position is that there must be cooperation among the states in the region to delimitate their Exclusive Economic Zones and that any action that is undertaken unilaterally and violates the sovereign rights of third states cannot be accepted as it contradicts the international law.”
The spokesman reiterated that “the MoU signed between Turkey and Libya does not have an effect” and that its provisions are contrary to the provisions of the Law of the Sea and affect the rights of third countries. Moreover, he recalled that the EU as well as many other countries have denounced the signing of this MoU. “Therefore, we consider that any licensing of a block within a zone that affects the rights of third parties or is the result of the signing of the MoU will be contrary to the international law,” Koushos noted.
Asked about the fact that French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle is expected to arrive soon to the Eastern Mediterranean, the spokesman said that “we consider that this action has been undertaken by France to underline its presence in the Eastern Mediterranean and the protection of its interests in the region.”
“Obviously the arrival of the French aircraft carrier in the Eastern Mediterranean bears importance in light of everything that is going on in the region, including the Libyan issue and the violation and questioning of the sovereign rights of countries in the region,” he added.
Asked about the meeting which the German Chancellor Angela Merkel had on Friday with the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Koushos said that Nicosia was expecting to be informed by the German side about what was discussed during the meeting concerning Cyprus.
Koushos said that there was a reference on Cyprus during the statements made after the meeting something which shows that issues concerning Cyprus were discussed. “We now expect to be informed about this discussion,” he noted.
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades continues his sincere effort for the resumption of a targeted and creative dialogue that will lead to a viable settlement, which will provide that Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriot will get rid of the guarantees and troops of third countries and will secure a common future for the next generations, despite the toxic climate which Turkey is trying to create, Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment Minister of Cyprus Costas Kadis said on Saturday.
Kadis, who was speaking during the funeral of Greek Cypriot Stavros Stavrou who went missing during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and whose remains were discovered by CMP and identified through the DNA method, noted that the illegal activities of Turkey in the Republic of Cyprus EEZ, the threats for the settling of the fenced-off city of Famagusta and the signing of the illegal MoU between Turkey and Libya have been explicitly condemned by the international community and the EU, since they don’t abide by the good neighbourhood concept, they violate the international law and in no way contribute to the creation of a favourable climate.
Unfortunately, while the efforts for the resumption of he negotiating process are underway, the recent action of Turkey violates the international legality and seriously undermine the creation of a climate that will be conducive for the negotiations, the Minister said.
Referring to the issue of missing persons, Kadis said that the government will continue to pursue in every way the establishment of their fate, noting that this is “the first issue which our side raises before the Turkish Cypriot leadership and to the representatives of organizations and governments during meetings taking place at all levels.”