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Turkey should take necessary steps to contribute to Cyprus talks’ resumption, Spokesman says

August 21, 2019 at 4:32pm
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Turkey should take the necessary steps, as efforts to resume negotiations for a Cyprus settlement progress, Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said on Wednesday.

Speaking after a Cabinet meeting in Troodos and asked about Turkey’s latest moves in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone, Prodromou pointed to the new round of consultations that is about to start in more or less ten days, upon the arrival of UN envoy Jane Holl Lute in Cyprus.

“We hope that with her presence here and with the discussions that will take place, the necessary steps will be made, in line with the expectations of the Secretary-General, in order to resume talks for a Cyprus settlement,” Prodromou noted.

He also said that the radical solution to Turkey’s destabilising activity is a Cyprus solution on the basis of international law, UN resolutions and EU practice.

This way we will enter a new stage of relations, he said, while noting that the resumption of talks should go hand in hand with the creation of very different atmosphere.

He said that, as the President recently said, after meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader, the expectation is that Turkey will respond to what is anticipated from Ankara to do, with regards to the necessary will and the creation of the appropriate conditions enabling the resumption of talks.

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.

Turkey announced its intention to start drilling off Cyprus and send on 4 May 2019 the Turkish drill ship “Fatih”, which remains anchored 36 nautical miles west of Akamas peninsula, in an area that falls within the EEZ and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus. “Yavuz”, arrived off the island’s north-eastern coast on 8 July 2019.

In response, EU Foreign Ministers endorsed on 15 July 2019 measures concerning Turkey’s illegal drilling in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Cyprus. In accordance with the 20 June 2019 European Council conclusions, Foreign Ministers also invited the High Representative and the European Commission to continue working on options for targeted measures in light of Turkey’s continued drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean

(Cyprus News Agency)