Cyprus Government Spokesman, Kyriakos Koushos, has told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) that statements made by the Turkish side about the basis of a Cyprus settlement are in total contradiction with the UN decisions, while Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s proposal for a picnic in the fenced off city of Famagusta is provocative and against every principle of law.
Invited to comment on statements made on Monday during a joint presser by Erdogan and the new Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar in favour of a two-state solution in Cyprus, and Erdogan’s proposal to have a picnic in the fenced off city of Famagusta during his illegal visit to Turkish-occupied Cyprus on November 15, Koushos noted that “unfortunately the statements of Turkish officials, and this time of the President of Turkey and the new Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar, about the basis of the solution of the Cyprus problem, clearly show their intention, which is in total contradiction with the UN decisions, the Security Council resolutions, as well as with the Joint Communique of November 25, 2019, regarding the three-party meeting in Berlin which the UN Secretary General convened.”
The Spokesman underlined that “our side remains committed to a settlement of the Cyprus problem to be achieved through negotiations, on the basis of the UN decisions and the Security Council resolutions as well as the so far achieved convergences and the acquis communautaire, the EU principles and values,” noting that Cyprus is and will continue to be an EU member state.
He added that “our side is determined to continue the dialogue for a settlement of the Cyprus problem on the basis of what I have referred to.”
Koushos said that “unfortunately the Turkish provocations, which are being manifested not only through the illegal interventions in our EEZ but also through the change of the status quo of the fenced off city of Famagusta do not contribute to the creation of a positive climate for the resumption of the talks.”
He also noted that the latest statements by Erdogan for a picnic in Famagusta “give the opportunity to everyone to evaluate the policy of Turkey, which continues to be provocative and against every principle of law, and takes place within the framework of its general destabilizing policy that is implemented in Syria, Libya, Nagorno-Karabakh, the Greek continental shelf and Cyprus’ EEZ.”
Koushos noted that “we also see that contrary to any diplomatic customs and principle, the Turkish President attacks European leaders, such as the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, with no respect for the diplomatic customs and Europe itself.”
Asked about a pending meeting between President Anastasides and the new Turkish Cypriot leader, Koushos said that it has not been finalized yet when this will take place. He went on to say that “we consider that a meeting between the President of Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriot leader can only have positive results. It will be their first meeting in order to get to know each other and we hope that a climate which will be conducive for their further contacts and the negotiations for a Cyprus settlement will be created,” he added.
Asked if the UN Secretary- General has contacted them about a five-party meeting on Cyprus, the Spokesman replied in the negative.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.
Ankara sent on several occasions seismic research vessels to Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), to conduct unauthorised drilling activities of hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean, in areas licensed by Cyprus to international energy companies.
The European Council reaffirmed its full solidarity with Cyprus, regarding the respect of its sovereignty and sovereign rights in accordance with international law and in February 2020, placed two persons under restrictive measures, in relation to Turkey`s unauthorised drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The Turkish side illegally opened on October 8 part of the beach of the abandoned town of Famagusta, in violation to numerous UN resolutions.
Varosha, the fenced off section of the Turkish occupied town of Famagusta, is often described as a ‘ghost town’. UN Security Council resolution 550 (1984) considers any attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible and calls for the transfer of this area to the administration of the UN. UN Security Council resolution 789 (1992) also urges that with a view to the implementation of resolution 550 (1984), the area at present under the control of the United Nations Peace-keeping Force in Cyprus be extended to include Varosha.