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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-08-07

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President of the Republic Demetris Christofias has stressed that recent statements made by Turkish Prime Minister on the Cyprus issue destroy any prospects to achieve an agreed solution in Cyprus.

    During an illegal visit to Cyprus in July, Erdogan had questioned the existence of the Republic of Cyprus, warned the EU that its accession negotiations with Ankara would freeze if Cyprus assumes the Unions rotating presidency in July 2012 without a political settlement and ruled out the return of the Turkish occupied areas of Morphou and Karpass to the Greek Cypriots in an overall solution.

    If this is the official Turkish policy on the Cyprus issue, it unfortunately wrecks of any prospect for an agreed, viable and functional solution of the Cyprus problem, President Christofias stressed, in a speech at the anti-occupation event organised by the Famagusta Municipality.

    He noted that Erdogans statements abolish the agreed basis of the Cyprus talks.

    His behavior is characterized by cynicism and arrogance, which have nothing to do with a behavior of a modern leader or a modern state, he underlined.

    Erdogan has even questioned the return of Varosha under Greek Cypriot leadership, President Christofias added, referring to the UNSC 550 of 1984, which provides for the return of the fenced off area of Varosha, in Famagusta, now under Turkish occupation, to the UN.

    We send a message to the leader of Turkey and to all those in the international community, who cover his unacceptable behaviour that the international law and order, the United Nations and the Security Council, of which Turkey was a non permanent member state, were created and function so that no state acts aggressively, he said.

    He also noted that the Turkish foreign policy, apart from threats, it links the return of Famagusta, Morphou and Karpasia, under Greek Cypriot administration, with Turkeys EU process, threatening to freeze the EU Turkey relations when Cyprus undertakes the EU presidency in the second half of 2012.

    It should be understood by all that the Republic of Cyprus is a full EU member state and should be respected and treated as such, he stressed.

    He recalled that the government of Cyprus has made representations regarding Erdogans statements, but pointed out that we have the view that the EU demonstrates more tolerance than needed as regards Turkey.

    If international relations were based only on law and justice, the EU should have demanded the immediate implementation of the Ankara Protocol by Turkey he went on to say.

    We expect, he said, a reaction on behalf of the EU regarding Turkeys defiance of its EU obligations, as well as the ones concerning the Republic of Cyprus.

    The Cypriot President noted that the solution of the Cyprus problem before Cyprus assumes the EU rotating Presidency in the second half of 2012 is an issue, which fully depends on Ankara itself.

    If the Turkish Cypriot side continues, with Ankaras support, to submit to the negotiating table unacceptable positions, which have no relation to the agreed principles of one sovereignty, one international personality and one citizenship, Turkey can not continue trying to shift the burden for non-solution on the shoulders of the victim, he said.

    President Christofias said that in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus thousands of so called citizenships are given to illegal Turkish settlers, Greek Cypriot properties are being illegally exploited and areas like Karpasia are being destructed by unacceptable, illegal development.

    At the same time, he said, thousands of our compatriots, Turkish Cypriots, are demonstrating against the demographic change in the Turkish occupied areas which threatens their own existence.

    NATURAL GAS ----- President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias has urged the international community to put an end to its silence as regards Turkey and its threats if Cyprus proceeds with exercising its sovereign rights to exploit its natural resources in its Exclusive Economic Zone.

    Speaking at an anti-occupation event organised by the Famagusta Municipality Saturday evening, President Christofias said it was unacceptable that Turkey, which flagrantly violates international law in Cyprus and has not yet signed the Convention on the Law of the Sea, to refer to the need to implement international law in Cyprus.

    It is unacceptable, he stressed, that the Turkish Foreign Minister uses threats against the Republic of Cyprus in case Nicosia proceeds with the exploitation of its natural resources.

    He pointed out that Turkey has not even accepted or signed the UN international agreement on the Law of the Sea.

    President Christofias recalled that Turkish troops occupy a great part of Cyprus` territory, violating the international law, since 1974.

    ``Despite the above, Turkey dares to speak about the international law, saying that Cyprus should respect and implement it. This is unacceptable``, he stressed.

    The UN, the EU and the whole international community ``must finally put an end to their silence as regards Turkey. They should defend international law and put Turkey in its place``.

    The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs claimed that Cyprus plans to explore and exploit its hydrocarbon reserves is not in line with international law and does not contribute to efforts to solve the Cyprus problem.

    Drilling for natural gas off the southern coast of Cyprus will begin around October.

    Cyprus has signed a production-sharing contract with Houston-based Noble Energy. The company has a concession to explore for hydrocarbons in an offshore field in its Exclusive Economic Zone, southeast of Cyprus, known as Block 12.

    The Eastern Mediterranean area is believed to have a massive amount of natural gas resources.

    Cyprus has signed an agreement to delineate the Exclusive Economic Zone with Egypt and Israel with a view to exploit any possible natural gas and oil reserves in its EEZ. A similar agreement was signed with Lebanon but the Lebanese Parliament has not yet ratified it.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

    Turkey is the only state in the world, which does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus.

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