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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-09-28

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cyprus has the sovereign right to explore and exploit its natural resources, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has stressed, adding that this right is non-negotiable.

    In statements Wednesday at the Presidential Palace, Stephanou noted that Turkish actions in the Eastern Mediterranean - since Cyprus began exploration drilling of natural gas in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) - are in conflict with international law.

    Invited to comment on a statement made Tuesday by EU Commissioner for Enlargement Stephan Fule who referred the parties to the International Court of Justice in The Hague for solving disputes, Stephanou said that this concerns a conflict between Turkey and international law, pointing out that it is not an issue between Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus.

    Turkey violates international law, threatens and provokes. The EU and the international community should ask Turkey to stop this behavior, which creates danger in the region, he stressed.

    Stephanou added that Cyprus right to continue its exploratory drilling in its EEZ should not be questioned, recalling that Nicosia, acting in the framework of international law, has delineated its EEZ with three countries in the region.

    The Spokesman was also invited to comment on Tuesdays statements by UNSG Special Advisor for Cyprus Alexander Downer on the issue, who said that if the two sides request some sort of a mediating role, the UN would consider the matter.

    Stephanou reiterated that exploration and exploitation of our natural resources constitutes a sovereign right of the Republic of Cyprus, adding that this right is exercised by the government of the Republic.

    Our sovereign right is not negotiable. This is clear, he stressed.

    Replying to questions, the Spokesman said that Downers role is not a role of a mediator, it is rather a supportive role, adding this is the role of the UN Secretary General, whom Downer represents. The position of the Republic of Cyprus and the government is clear.

    Turkey, whose troops occupy Cyprus northern part since they invaded in 1974, does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus. Following a decision by Nicosia to begin natural gas and oil exploration in its exclusive economic zone, Ankara has deployed warships in the Eastern Mediterranean and has signed an illegal agreement with the Turkish Cypriot regime in occupied Cyprus to delineate what it calls continental shelf.

    Drilling has already begun and is being carried out by Houston-based Noble Energy, off Cyprus south-eastern coast.

    The government of Cyprus has protested to the UN and the EU Turkeys moves, saying it has a sovereign right to exploit its natural resources, pointing out that Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots will benefit from any benefits that may come from oil drilling.

    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 has been signed with Lebanon but the Lebanese Parliament has not yet ratified it.


    House President Yiannakis Omirou has condemned recent Turkish threats against the Republic of Cyprus sovereign right to explore and exploit oil and gas reserves within its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

    Omirou met here today with members of the Free Democratic Party of the German state of Thuringia, and expressed satisfaction with recent positive statements made by German officials, and in particular the German Chancellor, in relation to the Cyprus issue.

    Referring to developments in Cyprus, Omirou expressed disappointment over the lack of substantial progress during the ongoing direct talks between the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot community, due to the long standing and escalating intransigence of the Turkish side.


    Cyprus has the inalienable right to explore its Exclusive Economic Zone to locate any oil or gas reserves, Greek Ambassador to Cyprus, Vassilis Papaioannou, underlined here today.

    In his statements, following a meeting with House Speaker Yiannakis Omirou, during which they discussed Greeces initiatives to address the economic crisis, as well as the latest developments in the region, Papaioannou reaffirmed Greek commitment to international law and its full engagement to defending Cyprus sovereign rights.

    I stressed Cyprus inalienable right to proceed with the drilling currently underway within its EEZ the Greek Ambassador said, adding that Cyprus and Greece send the message that they do not wish to cause tension in the region, but they wish to maintain stability and security.


    Cyprus 2012 state budget contains structural measures aiming to avert negative developments to the Cypriot economy, Cyprus Minister of Finance Kikis Kazamias said on Wednesday.

    Presenting the 2012 state budget and the 2012-2014 Medium-term Fiscal Framework, approved at Tuesdays Council of Ministers, Kazamias said ``the rapid implementation of the economic programme prepared by the government and included in the 2012 state budget safeguards the consolidation of the public finances,`` adding that the budget could be described as ``strict`` especially with regard to state expenditure.

    The draft 2012 budget provides for total revenues of 6.22 billion euro, compared with 5.64 billion of 2011 and total expenditures, excluding loan payments, of 7.54 bilion euro compared with 8.01 billion of the 2011 state budget.

    The Finance Minister said Cyprus 2011 growth rate is projected at zero, whereas 2012 growth rate may exceed 1% reaching 1.5% of GDP. He added that public debt will be maintained at the 2011 levels that is 65% of GDP, and is expected to decline to 62.8% GDP by 2014.

    Kazamias noted that the 2012 budget and the medium-term framework envisage to reduce the 2011 budget deficit estimated between 6% and 6.5%, to 2.3% of GDP, whereas the deficit is expected to be further reduced to 1% of GDP by 2014.

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