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President ‘absolutely ready’ for resumption of reunification talks, Spokesman says

October 6, 2019 at 2:09pm
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President Nicos Anastasiades is “absolutely ready” for reunification negotiations and he is waiting the UN Secretary General’s invitation, Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said on Sunday.

Prodromou, who was delivering a memorial address, in Amiandos, Limassol, said that the President and the Greek Cypriot side “are absolutely ready today, awaiting an invitation of Secretary General Antonio Guterres, so that the terms of reference can be completed on the basis of the understanding reached on August 9, with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.”

“We hope that the other side will respond positively, despite Ankara`s apparent unwillingness,” he added.

At the same time, the Spokesman continued,  President Anastasiades and the government are taking steps, in coordination with the Greek government, on all levels so that we can make the most of the international support and in particular of the EU of the Republic of Cyprus,” so that Turkey’s illegal actions in  Cyprus’ waters can be headed off.

He also spoke of an “unprecedented” attack on Cyprus these days from Turkey, who is violating the Republic of Cyprus’ sovereign rights and is trying to grab energy resources.

All we can do today is to make an effort to protect our country and our freedom. By peaceful means, making the most of all international support and the alliances we have built, but mainly the status of Cyprus as an EU member state,” he said.

It is, Prodromou said, a difficult struggle, a struggle which is fought by diplomatic, legal and political means against Turkey who uses its power of arms and the threat of violence.

He called for unity, pointing out that we need to seek the settlement of the Cyprus problem on the basis of UN resolutions and decisions, EU principles and rules, at a time when Turkey either uses subterfuges or bluntly denies it.

The Government Spokesman also referred to the steps taken by President Anastasiades to deal with the provocations, noting that he is constantly seeking the resumption of negotiations where they had stopped at Crans-Montana so that we can make the most of the fact that for the first time matters pertaining to the security, of ending the anachronistic status of guarantees and of the withdrawal of the Turkish occupying forces were put forward on the negotiating table. He has also cooperated with a clear political will with the UN Secretariat so that the terms of reference necessary for the resumption of Cyprus talks can be agreed, he added.

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 south-western 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.

Cyprus has called on drill ship “Yavuz” and her supporting vessels  to immediately cease illegal actions in the Republic’ Exclusive Economic Zone and its continental shelf.

A navigational telex (navtex),  published on  the  website of the Zenon Coordination Centre of the Joint Rescue and Coordination Centre (JRCC) stationed in Larnaca, also warned all those working on “Yavuz” and its supporting vessels will face consequences and an international arrest warrant will be issued against them.

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.