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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-09-19

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Turkey has no right to either protest or threaten Cyprus and cause tension because of plans by the Republic of Cyprus to explore and exploit its Exclusive Economic Zone, President Demetris Christofias stressed, calling on Ankara to work for a political settlement, instead of acting as a trouble-maker in the Eastern Mediterranean.

    Addressing an event of Cypriots in London, President Christofias said Nicosias response to the Turkish threats was low key, noting at the same time that several important countries as well as the European Commission have acknowledged Cyprus sovereign right to explore and use its natural resources.

    We have decided to continue to work exercising our self-evident sovereign rights, including the exploitation of our natural resources, always on the basis of international law, he stressed.

    Turkey, he pointed out, cannot blackmail and hold hostage an independent state, member of the EU and the UN, demanding that the Cyprus problem which Ankara has created and maintains unresolved is settled.

    President Christofias said an exploratory drilling will go ahead in the coming days, a move that is necessary in order to establish precisely the facts.

    On Ankaras announcement about signing an agreement with the self-style Turkish Cypriot regime, in northern Turkish occupied Cyprus, to delimitate what they call continental shelf, he said this would be contrary to numerous UN Security Council resolutions, which describe the regime as legally invalid.

    Turkey, he noted, uses the Turkish Cypriot community in order to prevent the Republic of Cyprus from proceeding with the exploitation of its natural resources, whilst at the same time attempting to upgrade the regime.

    President Christofias stressed that the interests of both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot community would be best served with a solution of the Cyprus issue. A solution, he added, which will put an end to occupation and will reunite the territory and the people of Cyprus, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

    The United Federal Republic of Cyprus, which will be governed by both Greek and Turkish Cypriots, will exploit its natural resources and both communities will benefit from that.

    This, he stressed, is something already agreed upon during the ongoing UN led negotiations. The natural resources and subsequent exploitation thereof falls in the remit of the federal government, which in turn splits income through its budget to the two federal units, he explained.

    We call on Turkey to realize at long last what the solution is truly in its own interests and to work in the direction of finding a solution to the Cyprus issue, instead of causing tension in the area, he said.

    President Christofias also underlined the fact that he wishes and works hard for a solution to be achieved soon. The solution must restore the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Cypriots, who must be made the masters in their own country without any foreign power having the right to intervene in their domestic affairs, he said.

    Referring to Julys blast at the Naval Base Evaggelos Florakis, which claimed the lives of thirteen people and destroyed the islands main power plant, he noted that Cyprus has endured a very difficult summer. Cyprus as a whole is in mourning, he said, adding that the damage caused by the blast had a negative effect on the islands economy.

    The President of the Republic said the government had initiated two separate procedures, namely the appointment of a commission of inquiry to look into political liability and police investigation to look into criminal liability.

    Both procedures are expected to be over soon, he said, adding that the Council of Ministers has already decided to publicise the commission of inquirys report.

    President Christofias also referred to the second package of austerity measures proposed by the government which is due to be discussed in parliament. The first package has already been approved by the House of Representatives and includes pay cuts for civil servants.

    The second package, he explained, aims at reducing state expenditure, increasing revenue, curbing tax evasion and supporting development.

    This is a critical juncture for Cyprus but we can overcome the problems if we all join forces and place the good of the country over and above everything else, he concluded.


    The President of the Republic Demetris Christofias travels to New York from London to address the UN General Assembly next week. He is scheduled to meet the UN Secretary-General, the Russian Foreign Minister and others.

    The President will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis and Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou.

    On Monday, he will depart for New York, where the same day he will meet with the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

    On Tuesday, President Christofias will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and attend a luncheon hosted in his honour by the American-Jewish Committee. In the evening, the President will attend a dinner, along with Archbishop Demetrios of America.

    On Wednesday, he will hold separate meetings with various heads of state and government, on the sidelines of the General Assembly.

    The President will address the General Assembly on Thursday and then give a press conference.


    Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Stavros Lambrinides assured that Greece would stand by Cyprus in case Turkey decided to attack, due to the launching of explorations for hydrocarbons in Cyprus` exclusive economic zone.

    Lambrinides noted that the Eastern Mediterranean does not need a ``gendarme``, especially one who, instead of implementing international law, is the first to violate it.

    In an interview with a Greek newspaper, Lambrinides said ``solidarity among partners, in case of an attack against one of them, emanates from the Lisbon Treaty as well.``

    ``The artificial exacerbation of the debate, each time Turkey unleashes rhetorical threats, is wrong. Turkey is pursuing to militarise the discussion because it has not arguments,`` he pointed out.

    Regarding Turkey`s explorations around Greece, Lambrinides said ``we will do everything necessary to fully defend our sovereign rights.``

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