Illegal drillings in Cyprus' EEZ create a very negative climate, Photiou says
CNA - CYPRUS/Nicosia 14/07/2019
The illegal drillings and other activities in Cyprus` Exclusive Economic Zone have created a very negative climate for the UNSG`s efforts for the resumption of the negotiations on the Cyprus problem, Presidential Commissioner, Photis Photiou, has said, adding that urgent actions are needed to overcome the deadlock.
Speaking in Melbourne, during a a gathering and a protest march on the occasion of the anniversaries of the Greek Junta coup in Cyprus, on July 15, 1974, and the Turkish invasion of the island, on July 20, 1974, Photiou noted that unfortunately Turkey has been launching threats for further escalating the tension in Cyprus` EEZ, claiming that she is acting on behalf of the Turkish Cypriots and interpreting, in a way that suits her, the international law and the UN law of the sea Convention.
And as if these were not enough, in an apparent effort to implement a plan B, the Turkish side has announced processes for a resettlement in the fenced-off city of Famagusta, under Turkish occupation, the Presidential Commissioner said.
He noted that this is another provocative step to which the UN Secretary General and Security Council must give a response, as it constitutes a flagrant violation of the 1977 and 1979 High Level Agreements as well as a violation of the UN Security Council decisions and resolutions from 1977 until 1992 that provide for the return of the legitimate inhabitants to their city, under UN control.
Photiou noted that the Greek Cypriot side has made clear its readiness to contribute to the efforts for returning to the netogiations the soonest possible, from the point they were suspended in Crans - Montana and on the basis of the Guterres` framework of parameters, recalling that this is underlined in a letter which Cypus Pesident Nicos Anastasiades sent recently to the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres.
Furthermore, he said that showing his good will and with a view to facilitate the whole effort, President Anastasiades submitted a set of ideas, both on the substance and on the procedure, adding that Turkey did not, however, endorse these efforts but reacted provocatively with its offensive actions in the area, as well as with a series of provocative statements which do not contribute to the UNSG`s efforts.
Photiou noted that President Anastasiades has sent letters to the UN Secretary General and the UN Security Council members about the Turkish provocative and offensive actions, and has elaborated on this issue during meetings with foreign governments, underlining that "our goal is for a solution that will cancel the occupaton, end the division and allow Cypriot citizens to live together in a prosperous country, with equal rights."
A solution that will create a modern European state, he added, which will be functional and viable, with no occupation troops, barbed wires, guarantees and intervention rights,
Photiou said that there are great prospects for achieving this, noting that the discovery and forthcoming exploitation of hydrocarbons, along with the ongoing operations by energy giants from powerful states in the EEZ of Cyprus, have enhanced hopes that Cyprus can become an energy hub in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Turkey issued in May a navigational telex, announcing its intention to start drilling off Cyprus until September 3. Since May 4, the Turkish drill ship “Fatih” is anchored in an area that falls within the EEZ and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus.
A second Turkish drill ship, “Yavuz”, arrived off the island’s northeastern coast on Monday.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. 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.
Varosha , the fenced – off part of the once thriving holiday resort of Famagusta, on the eastern coast of Cyprus, has been sealed since the 1974 Turkish invasion and according to the UN, the Turkish military is responsible for it. Repeated attempts to hand the area to UN administration and its Greek Cypriot legal inhabitants have so far failed due to the stance of the Turkish army.
UNSC resolution 550 (1984) ‘considers attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible and calls for the transfer of this area to the administration of the United Nations’.
Efforts over the years for the legitimate citizens of Famagusta to return to the city have met with the refusal of the Turkish side, despite numerous decisions and resolutions by the UN, EU and other international institutions.