Cyprus Mail

National Council meeting will be ‘very important’ in light of EEZ issues

The red area on the map shows the area reserved in Turkey's NAVTEX

By Staff Reporter

THE NATIONAL Council will meet on Monday, the starting date Turkey has reserved in its NAVTEX (Navigational Telex), for the commencement of seismic surveys south of Cyprus in the island’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said on Saturday efforts were continuing to prevent Turkey carrying out its intentions now that Ankara’s starting date had almost arrived.

“There is a specific design and in the light of developments this will become concrete action,” Christodoulou said. If Turkey proceeds from intentions to actions, so would the government, and these would not be limited to verbal reactions.

“The National Council meets on Monday in full-day session to review the progress so far, where we are, and it will discuss how to proceed. It is considered as a very important session and we expect that through the exchange of views there will be concrete results in terms of how Cyprus will move forward. “We hope Turkey does not proceed.”

The National Council will also be briefed by President Nicos Anastasiades on the results of his meetings with foreign leaders in Milan on the sidelines of the 10th ASEM Summit during the past week.

Anastasiades will expect to hear from the political party leaders their positions on how Cyprus should proceed with regards to Turkey’s actions.

The main conclusion from Anastasiades` contacts with foreign leaders in Milan was that the government`s first reaction to the Turkish threats was justified the spokesman said.

Anastasiades recently announced his decision to suspend his participation in the UN-backed negotiations until Turkey backs off.

A Russian navy exercise is also scheduled to take place next week in the waters east of the island. Despite a military official telling the Cyprus Mail that the timing was coincidental, Christodoulides stated on Friday: “there are no coincidences.”

Anastasiades and Russian President Vladimir Putin met late Thursday on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting in Milan where Putin reaffirmed the Russian position with regard to both the solution of the Cyprus problem and the inalienable right of the Republic to exploit its natural resources within its EEZ. He characterised any violation of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus as unacceptable, the government said afterwards.

On Saturday Christodouides said:  “As the government has repeatedly noted, there is no problem in our relations with Moscow. The changes in our foreign policy do not conflict with our relations with traditionally friendly countries, such as Russia.”

Cyprus and Russia were not the only countries concerned with Turkish intentions, he added.

“Given the developments in the region of Eastern Mediterranean, with the ongoing conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, when a third country violates the sovereign rights of another state, its neighbouring states are also concerned,” the spokesman said.

“In this framework, Turkey’s actions cause the reaction of a significant number of states.”

Turkey also lost an important UN Security Council vote on Thursday, as Spain was chosen to join the council in a third round of run-off voting.

Asked if an official visit to Russia was in the works for Anastasiades, the government spokesman said an invitation was extended to attend celebrations in Moscow in 2015.

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