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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-09-04

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President of the House of Representatives Yiannakis Omirou said Sunday that three years after the beginning of direct negotiations the Turkish intransigence continues.

    Speaking at the memorial service of the hero Demostenis Gheorgiou, Omirou stressed that the Greek Cypriot side must move towards three directions. It must inform the international and European community about Turkish maneuvers and pinpoint the intransigence of the Turkish side, which does not allow any progress.

    He said that tactics at the negotiating table and the strategy in the overall handling of the Cyprus problem must be reviewed.

    Omirou stressed that Turkeys European course must be the basic lever of pressure and the main weapon to convince Turkey to rationalize its behaviour and comply with international and European law.

    He noted that the proposals of the Turkish side provide for the dissolution of the Republic of Cyprus, the establishment of two equal state entities, a loose confederation, the maintaining of Turkeys strategic control of Cyprus through guarantees and the revival of the Annan plan under a different name.

    He said that recent provocative statements by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayiip Erdogan during his illegal visit to the northern Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus reaffirm the Turkish provocations and aggressive attitude.

    ``The Turkish threats against the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus to exploit its natural gas resources in its Exclusive Economic Zone show the real Turkish intentions``, he added.

    On 24 April 2004 the people of Cyprus were asked to approve or reject, through separate, simultaneous referenda, the UN Secretary Generals proposal for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem (known as the Annan Plan). A clear majority of 75,8% Greek Cypriots felt that the finalised text was too unbalanced and did not meet their fundamental concerns regarding security, functionality and viability of the solution and they therefore rejected the Annan plan. In the Turkish Cypriot side 64,9% voted in favour.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN-led negotiations began in 2008 between the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, in an effort to reunify the island under a federal roof.


    European Union has the obligation to act in order to prevent any crisis which Turkey might intent to cause in the Eastern Mediterranean, Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs Erato Kozakou Markoullis has stressed out.

    Markoullis was speaking at the Informal Meeting of EU Foreign Ministers held in Poland making clear Cyprus` positions towards the recent unacceptable Turkish threats.

    According to an official press release, Cypriot FM informed her European counterparts regarding Turkey`s threats about Cyprus plans to exploit its natural gas resources in its Exclusive Economic Zone.

    The issue was also raised by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglou and Markoullis had the opportunity to stress the positions of the Cyprus government.

    The EU Informal Meeting of Foreign Ministers discussed the Middle East issue as well as the developments in Libya


    The Republic of Cyprus has the sovereign right to exploit its natural resources within the international law and order, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has stressed.

    Commenting on statements made by the Turkish Minister of European Community Affairs Egemen Bagis regarding Cyprus plans to exploit its natural gas resources in its Exclusive Economic Zone, Stephanou described it as unacceptable and provocative.

    ``The government expresses its dissatisfaction to the continuous provocative statements against the Republic of Cyprus and its sovereign rights from Turkish officials``, he said.

    ``This behaviour is unacceptable and condemnable. It shows that Turkey continues actions which are against the International Law and the Chapter of the UN causing openly a member state of the UN and the EU, such is the Republic of Cyprus, which Turkey violates through the force of arms since 1974 its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity``, he added.

    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, south-east 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.

    Stephanou pointed out that the international community and especially the European Union, in which Turkey inspires to be a member, must clearly and decisively send the message that provocations and threats are unacceptable.

    ``Turkey must respect the international right and comply its behaviour``, he concluded.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Peace talks are currently underway between President Christofias and the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community to find a negotiated settlement that will reunite the country under a federal roof.

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