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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 12-03-03

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] Markoullis deplores Turkish statements on Cyprus` EEZ
  • [02] UNSG to submit his report on Cyprus next week
  • [03] House President denounces Turkish statements on Cyprus` EEZ
  • [04] Pafos air traffic controllers on 13-hour strike

  • [01] Markoullis deplores Turkish statements on Cyprus` EEZ

    Cyprus’ sovereign rights are well defined and based on the Law of the Sea UN Convention, Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou Markoullis said on Saturday, responding to questions regarding statements by Turkish Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis who said that ``Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone is disputed``.

    “This is why we have signed agreements with neighboring countries for the delineation of our Exclusive Economic Zone”, Markoullis said in statements to the press.

    Furthermore she recalled that Turkey has not yet signed the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

    Turkey, whose troops occupy Cyprus’ northern part since they invaded the island in 1974, does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus, an EU member since 2004.

    Recently, Nicosia announced in the Official Journal of the EU a call for an international tender for off-shore hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation within the Republic’s Economic Exclusive Zone, signaling the initiation of a second round of licensing.

    In response to Cypriot exploration activities, Ankara has deployed in the past 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.

    The government of Cyprus has protested to the UN and the EU Turkey’s 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.

    [02] UNSG to submit his report on Cyprus next week

    UNSG Ban-Ki Moon is going to submit his report on his mission of good offices in Cyprus to the Security Council at the end of next week.

    According to UN sources, Ban wishes to submit his report following the meeting his Special Advisor on Cyprus Alexander Downer will hold with the two leaders in Cyprus in the framework of direct talks, which is scheduled to take place on March 8.

    The British Presidency of the UN Security Council has included in its agenda for March the UNSG report on Cyprus. However, Downer will not be present during the discussion at the Security Council, as it was initially planned. Such a discussion will probably take place in April.

    A diplomatic source at the Security Council told CNA that the Cyprus problem will not be discussed by the Council in March mainly because of the lack of progress in the direct talks.

    [03] House President denounces Turkish statements on Cyprus` EEZ

    House President Yiannakis Omirou has described Turkish statements regarding Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as provocative, noting that the Cyprus government should denounce them before the European and the international community.

    Speaking to the press at Larnaka Airport upon his departure for London, and commenting statements by Turkish Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis who said that ``Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone is disputed``, Omirou noted that Cyprus is practicing its sovereign rights based on the Law of the Sea UN Convention as well as on agreements which were signed between neighboring countries such as Egypt, Israel and Lebanon.

    Omirou also condemned Turkish statements regarding the property issue of the Cyprus problem, noting that the EU laws, the European and International Convention on Human rights as well as the Cypriot Constitution secure legal owners` immovable property rights.

    [04] Pafos air traffic controllers on 13-hour strike

    Air traffic controllers at Pafos International Airport will go on a 13-hour strike on Saturday evening.

    According to Hermes Airports spokesman Adamos Aspris, a total of 12 flights, six departures and six arrivals to and from the airports will be affected by the strike which will take place between Saturday 1900 local time (1700 GMT) and Sunday 0800 local time (0600 GMT).

    Twenty flights were disrupted on Friday, as air traffic controllers went on a strike at both international airports of the Republic, in Larnaka and Pafos.


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