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Negotiations cannot resume while Turkey violates Cyprus’ EEZ, government says

May 6, 2019 at 8:09am

Our intention is to resume negotiations for a Cyprus settlement, however negotiations are not possible “with Turkish ships violating the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus and creating tension” Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said on Sunday.

Speaking at the Presidential Palace and asked if the President of Cyprus would be willing to attend a Crans Montana-type meeting, with a Turkish drill ship present in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ), Prodromou said that this is a hypothetical question. “If the UN proceed to invite the President of the Republic, we will examine the prevailing conditions, the position of all sides and first and foremost of Turkey and we will react accordingly” he added.

He said that the Greek Cypriot side seeks the resumption of settlement talks, while Turkey tries to avoid them.

A meeting in line with the Geneva and Crans Montana format, with the participation of the EU, brings Turkey vis-à-vis its obligation to take a stance concerning the termination of the occupation of Cyprus, the withdrawal of troops and the abolition of guarantees and intervention rights, Prodromou added.

Asked if the President of Cyprus discussed Turkish provocations with other counterparts, the Spokesman said that the issue is on the agenda of his meetings on every occasion. On another question, whether the issue will be included in the agenda of the forthcoming informal European Council, on May 9, in Romania, Prodromou said that “depending on the situation next Wednesday, this will be one of the issues the President will raise with his counterparts.”

Prodromou also said that Nicosia expects Ankara to make second thoughts regarding its intention to drill in Cyprus’ EEZ and noted that the arbitrary handling of the issue is isolating Turkey. Moreover, he said that the government was content with the reaction of the European Commission, Egypt, Russia and Greece.

The Government Spokesman referred to a series of preventive measures which the government in Nicosia is already implementing and said that there were additional measures in its disposal. It would not be to our benefit to make these measures public, Prodromou added and said that they will address the issue, which is destabilizing the area, together with the EU.

Asked if the Republic of Cyprus will issue an international arrest warrant for those involved in the actions of the Turkish drill ship and other companies that assist illegal activities in the EEZ of Cyprus, Prodromou said that individuals who are engaged in illegal activities have personal responsibility and they may be held accountable. “This is one of the measures designed by our government” he added and said that all those involved in the violation of the EEZ of Cyprus “may be certainly prosecuted by international justice.”

“We will take all measures which are in our disposal through our international relations, Cyprus’ membership to the EU and international law” Prodromou concluded.

Turkey issued a navigational telex, announcing its intention to start drilling off Cyprus until September 3. The Turkish drill ship “Fatih”, accompanied by three service ships, is located almost 40 nautical miles west of the Akamas peninsula and 83 nautical miles from the Turkish coast. The area falls within the EEZ and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus.

(Cyprus News Agency)