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Global response to Pyla incident firm, says Christodoulides

President assures proactive steps against potential Turkish provocations in Pyla

Newsroom / CNA

The international community has given a clear answer to both the Turkish President and the occupying regime as regards the Pyla incident, Cyprus President, Nikos Christodoulides said on Tuesday, noting that the Government was taking all the necessary actions to prevent any new faits accomplis by Turkey.

Asked by journalists how the Government will proceed in managing the issue of Pyla, President Christodoulides noted the “unprecedented reaction” from the international community and that this was “important”.

He said that he noted that “they recognised our constructive role, how we handled the whole situation and that, whatever actions are taken by the occupying regime, we will continue to work to restart the talks”.

“Only the resumption of talks will lead us to the end of this abnormal state of affairs, to the liberation, to the reunification of our homeland”, he stressed.

The President of the Republic also said that he was looking forward to both the UN General Assembly and the European Council in October.

To a journalist’s comment that the Turkish side has characterised the buffer zone, near the village of Pyla, as “sovereign territory” of the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime, and, asked if that foretells other challenges and serious problems for Cyprus, President Christodoulides said that “the best answer was given by the UN Security Council, by the EU, by the international community as a whole with this unprecedented reaction”.

He added that, at the same time, the Government was taking all the necessary actions to prevent any new faits accomplis by Turkey, “whether they concern the buffer zone or our occupied territories”.

Asked if the reaction of the UN Security Council and the EU were capable of putting a brake on the Turkish plans, President Christodoulides referred to the “massive reaction of the international community” and the “reactions of the EU”, adding that it was for this reason he mentioned the UN General Assembly and the October European Council, “which are of crucial importance both for the Cyprus issue and for any positive developments in EU-Turkey relations”. He added that it was known how much Turkey would like to see positive developments in its relations with the EU.

Asked if the Turkish moves were damaging the efforts to restart the talks, President Christodoulides said that he did not rule out the possibility that some people in the occupied territories took this kind of action, because they knew it would stir reaction, though not to such an extent, “precisely to achieve the goal you have mentioned above, to torpedo any attempts to restart the talks”.

Asked if a meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar has been arranged in New York, President Christodoulides said that he has been repeatedly asking for a meeting and that he was ready to meet Tatar “whenever he is ready”.

Asked about the fact that Turkey was not condemned in the Security Council Declaration, President Christodoulides said that “we all know, it is not the first time we see a Security Council Declaration”, adding that Ankara’s reaction alone to the Declaration of the Security Council, “also shows the guilt of Turkey”.

Asked about the upcoming meeting with Senator Menendez and Cyprus-US relations, the President of the Republic referred to the two countries’ good relations. He said that, with Senator Menendez they would discuss specific issues “that affect our bilateral relations on the one hand, some developments that we want to see in the immediate future, which processes are in progress, but also regional developments and in general the tripartite scheme with Greece and Israel which I will have the pleasure of hosting at the beginning of September”.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

Members of the Security Council condemned on Tuesday, August 22, 2023, the incidents in the buffer zone, in the village of Pyla, in Larnaca district, with assaults against UN peacekeepers, reiterating their full support for UNFICYP

They also condemned the attacks on UN peacekeepers and the damage to UN vehicles by Turkish Cypriot personnel and wished a speedy and full recovery to the peacekeepers who were injured. They emphasised that "attacks against peacekeepers may constitute crimes under international law and reaffirmed their full commitment to the safety of all UN personnel."

On Friday August 18, 2023 Turkish Cypriots punched and kicked a group of international peacekeepers who obstructed crews illegally working on a road that would encroach on a U.N. controlled buffer zone.

The attack happened as peacekeepers stood in the way of crews building a road to connect the Turkish occupied village of Arsos with the mixed Greek Cypriot-Turkish Cypriot village of Pyla, inside the buffer zone.

Cyprus  |  Turkey  |  Pyla  |  Larnaca  |  president  |  Arsos  |  law

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