Nicosia.- (GreekNewsOnline, CNA)
The Republic of Cyprus is ready to avert by using legal means according to the UN Charter, any move by Turkey”, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Saturday, commenting on the threats made by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, to open the fenced area o Varosha. President was the keynote speaker at a demonstration l be held at the Cultural Centre in Deryneia, to protest the recent visits of Turkish officials to Varosha.
Earlier this week Turkish Foreign Minister Melvut Cavusoglu confirmed that Turkey plans to re-open the fenced-off town of Varosha, and preparations were already underway there, drawing condemnation from Nicosia.
Three days after his visit to Varosha, accompanied by his Turkish Cypriot ‘foreign minister’ Kudret Ozersay, Cavusoglu told CNN Turk: “We are making preparations. Yes, we will open Famagusta.”
Nicosia is considering asking the UN Security Council to intervene and Cypriot Foreign Ministry has sent letters to all EU members and the members of the Security Council.
At the same time Nicosia rejected allegations by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan that the Republic of Cyprus doesn’t recognize the rights of the Turkish Cypriots in the natural resources found in its EEZ.
“Turkey is the one threatening peace by using state drilling ships and military vessels in the EEZ and the territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus”, Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said, commenting on Erdogan’s interview to “Reuters”.
According to “Cyprus Mail”, Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday accused the Greek Cypriot side of not wanting to share natural gas with the Turkish Cypriots, while Greece said Turkey had to stop infringing on Cyprus’ sovereignty.
“From then [Cyprus talks in Burgenstock] until now the approach is unjust. The approach does not recognise the rights and law and threatens peace in the world,” Erdogan told Reuters.
Commenting on Cyprus negotiations, Erdogan said he had been at talks back in 2004 with then UN secretary general Kofi Anan in Burgenstock, where they made an agreement.
After the failure of the referendum to back the solution reached in 2004, Erdogan said the EU inducted Cyprus and left the north out.
Regarding energy, the Turkish president said there are areas around Cyprus where Turkey is researching and there are areas to the south where ‘south Cyprus’ is researching. He added that international law states, whatever is produced from this research or taken out of the sea must be shared.
“What are they doing? They want to deprive northern Cyprus of them [their rights]. In international law there is no such thing. Any rights that exist will be taken at a percentage of the population. Whatever are the rights of southern Cyprus, those it will take. But countries that have no place are trying to have a say in these seas. The problem is here,” the Turkish president added.
Asked if there is a chance for cooperation, Erdogan said anything can happen. He said there are currently two drillships in Cyprus’ waters and a third could be on its way.
Greece, on the other hand, said that Turkey needs to respect the sovereignty of Cyprus to create a better climate, according to Athens’ Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, who spoke to the newspaper Ta Nea.
“An essential prerequisite for improving the climate is to stop Turkey from turning against the sovereignty and sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus by actions that exacerbate the country’s image as a transgressor of international law,” he said.
The UK fully supports UN Security Council resolutions on Varosha which make clear that attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants are inadmissible, a UK High Commission spokesperson has told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) invited to comment on statements by Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu that preparations are underway for the opening of the fenced-off city of Famagusta (Varosha).
“The fate of Varosha is the subject of UN Security Council Resolutions (550 and 789) that the UK fully supports. These make clear that ‘attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants [are] inadmissible’”, the spokesperson noted.
Turkish provocations are talking place while the United Nations is trying to convince the Cypriot leaders to resume peace negotiations. UNSG’s Special Envoy on Cyprus negotiations, Jane Holl Lute had earlier this month daily meetings with President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci in a bid to secure the terms of reference that would lead to the resumption of the stalled talk, however the terms were not finalized.
But Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, in an interview to Nikos Stelgias for Cypriot weekly newspaper “Sunday’s Kathimerini” that before the two leaders agree on the terms of reference, an informal Cyprus Conference should convene, in order for the two communities and the three guarantor powers to agree on the form of the solution (federation, confederation, partition).
According to a written statement by Cyprus Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou, President Anastasiades received on Friday a letter by Lute, who underlined that as a result of the consultations they had during her recent visit to Cyprus serious steps of progress have been made and therefore prospects for the way forward have opened up in a constructive way.
Moreover Prodromou said that it is important that Lute says that she is grateful for the fact that President Anastasiades confirmed his personal commitment to the efforts for an agreement on the terms of reference.
According to the Spokesman, Lute also thanks Anastasiades for his very productive commitment to the efforts underway, expressing the will for a new meeting the soonest.
Prodromou underlined that the fact that Lute confirmed that efforts will continue is particularly significant “with regard to our goal which is the resumption of the negotiations”.
Anastasiades is arriving in New York on Sunday, September 22, to participate in UN General Assembly. He is expected to meet with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the 5 permanent members of the Security Council and world leaders.
Turkish Cypriot leader Mustaf Akinci, who will be in New York for the Islamic Conference, is also expected to meet Guterres. No joint meeting has been set.