President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades stressed on Friday his determination and political will to attend a meeting in Berlin, later this month, with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, in a positive and creative spirit, aiming to conclude the terms of reference “whatever the Turkish intentions are.”
In a written message on the anniversary of the proclamation of the illegal break-away entity, in the northern, Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus, the President of the Republic also says that he remains committed to a Cyprus settlement that is in line with international law, UN resolutions and EU principles.
We mark today 36 years since the illegal and internationally condemned proclamation of the pseudo-state, which prompted the immediate reaction of the international community, condemning Turkey’s unilateral action as illegal and invalid, says the President.
He notes that this year’s anniversary is marked by an escalation of Turkish provocative actions on all levels. Ahead of the meeting with the UN Secretary-General, Turkey attempts to conduct an illegal drilling off the Karpas peninsula, in Cyprus’ northeastern coast, while announcements are made about the opening of the fenced-off part of Famagusta, the President adds.
He notes that Cyprus is not alone, deeming its membership in the European Union an important advantage, which is being utilized in order to underscore its state entity and address Turkish challenges.
The President also says that in order to reach the anticipated results, the other side needs to respond with the same good will and positive spirit, without asking for predetermined decisions on matters that will be negotiated later.
Nicosia condemns new Turkish attempts to drill off Cyprus
In a separate announcement, the government of the Republic of Cyprus condemns new Turkish efforts to illegally drill in Cyprus’ maritime areas.
At the same time, Nicosia calls on Turkey to terminate its illegal actions and withdraw all its drilling and research vessels from Cyprus’ maritime areas.
The announced drilling within the eastern part of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone and continental shelf, in proximity to the territorial waters of the Republic “violates the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus according to the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea and international customary law” the announcement continues.
The government also condemns the illegal seismic research activities by “Oruç Reis”, a Turkish research vessel, planned to take place in a large area in the western EEZ/ continental shelf of Cyprus, in violation of the country’s sovereign rights.
The fact that new Turkish provocative actions were announced on the same day the EU sanctions’ regime entered into force is an act of extreme and provocative contempt for international and European law, and for the repeated calls of the international community, asking Turkey to end its illegal actions and respect the sovereignty and the exclusive sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus, the announcement continues.
The Cyprus government also notes that it is hypocritical, the very least, for Turkey to allege that it is defending the rights of the Turkish Cypriots, while claiming at the same time 44% of the Cyprus’ EEZ/ continental shelf for Ankara, to the detriment of the legal rights of all people of Cyprus.
The interests of the Turkish Cypriots will be better served through a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, the announcement concludes.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Turkey has ignored numerous UN resolutions calling for the withdrawal of the Turkish troops and respect of the integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus.
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.