Cyrus will continue to face Turkish provocations with calm, prudence and determination and without being disoriented by the goal of solving the Cyprus problem, Foreign Affairs Minister Nicos Christodoulides said on Monday.
The minister is in Athens on an official visit at the invitation of his Greek counterpart Nicos Kotzias for meetings with Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, Premier Alexis Tsipras and Kotzias.
Following the two ministers’ meeting, Kotzias said that Turkey is the biggest problem in the region and its actions are characterised by persistent nervousness and violations of international law.
He called on Ankara to respect international law and the law of the sea and to stop provocative actions against Cyprus and Greece.
On the settlement talks, Kotzias said that Greece and Cyprus succeeded in bringing to the fore the issue of security and guarantees.
The latest developments in the Cypriot exclusive economic zone (EEZ), Kotzias said, confirm the position of Athens and Nicosia on the issues of guarantees and security within a framework of a solution to the Cyprus problem and argued that things would be clearly worse if Turkey was a legitimate security force on the island.
Christodoulides said that his visit to Athens “reaffirms the excellent level of bilateral relations between Cyprus and Greece”.
He reiterated that the Greek Cypriot side is ready to relaunch the dialogue on the internal aspects of the Cyprus issue as long as Turkey ceases provocation in the Cypriot EEZ. He also stressed the need for thorough preparation before another international conference on Cyprus takes place, with the participation of all five members of the UN Security Council.
Christodoulides said he was concerned by Ankara’s stance on her intentions on the Cyprus issue and underlined that her actions do not serve the interests of Turkish Cypriots. The Republic of Cyprus will, however, face any provocation with calm, prudence and determination and without straying from the goal of resolving the Cyprus problem, he said.
Christodoulides welcomed the warning given to Turkey by European Council President Donald Tusk last month that the EU-Turkey summit in March is conditional on Ankara’s termination of actions in Cyprus’ EEZ.
The announcement had come after Turkish navy vessels had been preventing for around two weeks energy giant ENI’s drillship, Saipem 12000, from getting to Cyprus’ offshore plot 3 for exploratory drilling.
The fact that Turkey did not renew its navigational warnings (Navtex) within Cyprus’ EEZ, is not enough, Christodoulides said.
The stance and statements of Turkish officials, he said, are under constant assessment.
On Tuesday, he will be received by President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and after will meet Prime Minister Tsipras.