Newsroom / CNA
The Republic of Cyprus uses all the legal, political and diplomatic means at its disposal to address new Turkish provocations in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone, Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said on Friday, following the meeting of the National Council under Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades.
Prodromou also noted that all the political parties categorically condemn the new provocative intervention of Turkey within the Republic of Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone. According to a navigational warning issued by Turkey, Turkish drill ship Yavuz, which has returned to Cyprus’ EEZ, will carry out drilling operations inside block 7, located off the southwestern coast of Cyprus. Block 7, has been licensed by the Government of Cyprus to France’s Total and Italy’s ENI for drilling operations.
"Yavuz”, was anchored off the island’s north-eastern coast on July 8 and operated within the territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus, until September 17, when it departed for a Turkish port in Mersin.
Moreover, Turkey issued a navigational telex (navtex), announcing its intention to start drilling off Cyprus and since 4 May 2019, the Turkish drill ship “Fatih” has been anchored 36 nautical miles west of Akamas peninsula. The area falls within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus. Ankara extended the navtex until November 1, 2019.
The spokesman said in his statements that President Anastasiades reiterated during the meeting of the National Council his determination for the formulation of the terms of reference and for the UN Secretary General’s initiative to move forward so that substantive negotiations for a Cyprus settlement will resume on the basis of the unanimous decisions of the National Council and the UN decisions and resolutions.
At the same time, he stressed that the necessary climate is required for the resumption of substantive negotiations, which means that all illegal actions by Turkey and threats against Cyprus have to be terminated.
Prodromou said that President Anastasiades thoroughly informed the members of the National Council about the latest developments in the Cyprus problem, the deliberations that took place with the UNSG’s special envoy on Cyprus Jane Holl Lute, his meeting with the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in New York as well as the recourse to the UN Security Council on the issue of Famagusta.
Moreover, he said that the members of the National Council were also informed about the latest illegal intervention of Turkey into a licensed block of the Republic of Cyprus’ EEZ and all the actions taken by the Cypriot government to address this new illegal intervention of Turkey.
Asked about the fact that no joint statement was issued after the National Council’s meeting, the Spokesman said that he has no comment to make on this.
To a question about the actions taken by the government to face the new provocation ofTurkey, the Spokesman said that actions are taken “using all the legal, political and diplomatic means at our disposal.” He noted that it would not be useful to say anything else right now.
Asked if the President of Cyprus would be willing, given the fact that a Turkish drill ship is right now in a licensed block of Cyprus’ EEZ, to participate in a trilateral meeting with the UN Secretary General and the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, Prodromou noted that “we have said in which way the President of the Republic faces that UNSG’s initiative.”
Invited to say if the Cyprus government has contacted the governments of Italy and France to discuss about the Turkish provocations, the spokesman said that the Cyprus government uses all the diplomatic, political and legal measures it can take.
The government of the Republic of Cyprus has strongly condemned Turkey’s new attempt to illegally conduct drilling operations in the south-west of the island, within Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and continental shelf, calling once more on Turkey to immediately cease all its illegal activities and withdraw all its drilling and seismic vessels.
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.