ENI`s scheduled drilling in Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) will continue despite Turkey`s provocations Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides has said, calling at the same time on the political parties “to collectively and in a spirit of unity tackle the current serious Turkish provocation.”
In statements on Saturday, the Minister said that the conclusion drawn from the public reactions on behalf of the Permanent Members of the Security Council and the EU is that everyone recognizes the sovereign right of the Republic of Cyprus to exploit mineral reserves in its EEZ and calls for avoiding provocations.
“The international disapproval has been recorded. Diplomatic efforts will continue. Is this enough to stop Turkey? maybe yes maybe not, ” he said, adding that” even the President of the United States had to apologize to Turkey for the truths he told in Harvard because of the present circumstances. ”
Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades announced on Tuesday a decision to suspend his participation to the UN backed negotiations which aim to reunify the island under a federal roof, following Turkey`s most recent violation of Cyprus` sovereign rights in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) and its decision to carry out a seismic survey in specific blocks, assigned to international companies within the Republic of Cyprus` EEZ.
Kasoulides made it clear that ENI`s planned drilling will continue despite the challenges.
He reiterated that the revenues from natural gas, which are not expected before the end of the decade, belong proportionately to all Cypriots.
He also noted that current provocative actions by Turkey send the message that it does not want or does not believe that the Cyprus problem will be resolved by then. ”
“The result,” he continued, “is the suspension by the President`s Anastasiades of his participation in the negotiations while threats, blackmail and demonstration of force are taking place since the principle of the negotiations is that are they are taking place on equal footing. The full responsibility lies with Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leadership on behalf of which Turkey is allegedly acting “.
The Minister also announced that on Monday he will be travelling to Athens where he will have consultations with the Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece to coordinate actions and activities to counter the Turkish threat.”
The Greek Government has made representations “at various diplomatic levels” as regards Turkey`s provocative actions in Cyprus, Antonis Samaras, the Prime Minister of Greece has said.
Just before winning a vote of confidence early on Saturday, Samaras told the Greek legislators that his Government follows “closely and continuously” recent developments in Cyprus, is in contact with the Cypriot Government and has made representations “at various diplomatic levels”.
Samaras said Turkey has been creating a “dangerous situation” in Cyprus` exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
“I have been spending many hours and days to deal with the economic crisis but national issues, and in particular the Cyprus problem, are my main concern and they are constantly in my mind” he noted.
Samaras reiterated that Greece always “stands by the side of Cyprus”.
ESPEN BARTH EIDE
UN Secretary General`s Special Advisor on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide said Friday that there is a need to diffuse `the issue at sea` and added that he understands the Cypriot President`s decision to temporarily suspend the negotiations as a reaction to Ankara`s moves in Cyprus` Exclusive Economic Zone.
In statements after a meeting he held in Nicosia with former President Demetris Christofias, Eide said that the negotiations are only temporarily suspended, and that “this was made very clear by President Anastrasiades”.
Eide clarified that there is a clear commitment from both sides that they want to come back to the negotiating table “but they can only do that when conditions are right and hence we are trying to create those conditions”.
“What we need to do is to try to diffuse the issue at sea in such a way that we can rebuild enough trust to go back to the table. Once we are back to the table, there are some ideas being developed which both parties have contributed to which in my view seem to be constructive”, he went on to say.
He added that there is need to “diffuse this tension, to make some clarity on what is what and what to do and exactly what that contains I will be happy to share when we are done but right now I don’t have the full answer”.
Referring to President Anastasiades` decision to suspend the talks, he said “I have no problem in understanding the deep discomfort that the Greek Cypriot side has about this issue”.
Eide added that the T/c side believes that “it is unfair that one side starts doing this without collaborating with the other side. The problem for all of us is that both sides believe in their own story. This is quite typical in these situations that there are two different views”.
Invited to express the UN position on this development, he said that the Convention of the Law of the Sea stipulates two things: one is that sovereign recognized states can claim an Exclusive Economic Zone and that the sovereign recognized state has to deconflict this with other claims with other states.
“You have done that with Egypt, Israel, Lebanon. It has not happen with Turkey for obvious reasons because Turkey in this current state of affairs does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus. De facto, there is a dispute”, he said.