Any harassment by Turkey with regard to the activities of the international company that is actively and legally working within the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus is not compatible with the smooth continuation of the talks on the Cyprus problem, Government Spokesman Mr Nikos Christodoulides said today.
Speaking to reporters, at the Palodia village, the Spokesman said that Turkey issued a NAVTEX (Navigational Telex) directive on Friday through which it designates certain areas of the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus as reserved, and stressed that immediately afterwards the Republic of Cyprus issued its own NAVTEX directive through which it proves the illegality of the Turkish directive.
“The issue is particularly important. The Turkish NAVTEX violates the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus, but also the rights of the ENI company which is actively working within Cyprus EEZ following an agreement with the Republic of Cyprus,” Mr Christodoulides noted.
The Spokesman said that “we have made demarches and will continue to do so. We expect from all those who publicly have spoken about the inalienable right of the Republic of Cyprus to exploit its EEZ, to move in the right direction in order to put an end to such phenomena. Any kind of harassment against the company working within the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus, is not in any way compatible with the smooth conduct of the talks,” on the Cyprus problem.
Asked if he is sending a message by what he said, he pointed out that “it is a clear message, which we expect to reach its intended recipients and bring about results. Otherwise, I repeat that, any harassment of the work of the company that legally does work within the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus is not compatible with the smooth continuation of the talks.”
Invited to say if the talks on the Cyprus problem will be interrupted in case the harassments continue, the Spokesman said that “on such serious issues what counts most are actions and not words and we continuously evaluate the situation.”
Asked to comment on a recent announcement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry with regard to the EEZ of Cyprus, the Spokesman said that it merely reproduces the well-known Turkish arguments which lack any legal or other validity, and hence it may indicate a weakness on the part of Turkey to deal with the problems in the region. “Maybe through such actions, it (Turkey) wants to create a crisis or various problems,” the Spokesman said.
He then pointed out that “our position is clear, it is accepted by the entire international community and we will continue with our actions based on these facts.”
Invited to comment on what the US Vice President said about what the Turkish President told him with regard to Cyprus, and more specifically that it is not to the benefit of Turkey to maintain troops in Cyprus, Mr Christodoulides said that “we believe so, that indeed there is no benefit for Turkey, but to the contrary there is cost. If this is the actual position and conviction of the Turkish President, then we expect to observe it through specific moves and actions and not words. At the end of the day, on all issues in general, what counts are actions and not words.”