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Nicosia ‘expected references on hydrocarbons in UNSG’s report to depict developments more precisely

Nicosia expected the references on the hydrocarbons issue in the UN Secretary-General’s report on the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) to depict in a more precise way the recent developments in the Republic of Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) , diplomatic sources have told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA).

Invited to comment the unofficial copy of Antonio Guterres’ report on UNFICYP that was handed over to the UN Security Council members on July 10, the diplomatic sources noted that the most important point in the report is the clear recommendation by the UNSG to the Security Council to extend the UNFICYP mandate for six more months, noting that the role and the presence of the force in Cyprus are important and must continue unobstructedly.

They went on to say that the resolution that will be put forward before the UN Security Council for adoption, on the basis of the UNSG`s, report is equally important.

As regards the references in the unofficial copy of the report on the issue of hydrocarbons, the diplomatic sources noted that that in light of the developments and the illegal activities of Turkey in the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus “we would expect the relevant references to depict in a more precise way these developments and be more clearly critical towards Turkey”.

The UNSG said, in his report that “in a concerning development, tensions over hydrocarbons continued to grow, with few prospects of subsiding in the near or medium term.”

Furthermore, he noted that he continues to monitor developments related to hydrocarbons closely and with concern. “I have repeatedly stressed that the natural resources found in and around Cyprus should benefit both communities and constitute a strong incentive for all parties to find a mutually acceptable and durable solution to the Cyprus problem. Bearing in mind that all parties have expressed their commitment to this objective, I reiterate my call for serious efforts to avoid any further escalation and to defuse tensions,” he added.

The government of Cyprus has not yet issued any official comment about the UNSG’s report, but is expected to do so after the report circulates as an official document of the UN Security Council.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The last round of negotiations, in the summer of 2017, at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

Turkey issued in May a navigational telex, announcing its intention to start drilling off Cyprus until September 3. Since May 4, the Turkish drill ship “Fatih” is anchored in an area that falls within the EEZ and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus.

A second Turkish drill ship, “Yavuz”, arrived off the island’s northeastern coast on Monday.

Comprising military and civilian personnel from various contributing countries, UNFICYP arrived in Cyprus in March 1964 after intercommunal fighting broke out. The mandate of the force is renewed every six months by the UN Security Council.

(Cyprus News Agency)

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