Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou on Sunday called on the Turkish side to respond to President Nicos Anastasiades’ good will and determination for a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem.
Speaking a day before the tripartite meeting between the UN Secretary General with the leaders in Cyprus, namely President Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, the Commissioner said that the next steps on the Cyprus process will be decided during this meeting, adding that we expect that the efforts will yield results that will lead to the resumption of the talks, under the UN aegis.
Photiou also pointed out that the Turkish side should abandon its extremist positions and to terminate its illegal actions in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone and in the fenced off town of Varosha.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.
Efforts over the years for the legitimate citizens of Famagusta to return to the city have met with the refusal of the Turkish side, despite numerous decisions and resolutions by the UN, EU and other international institutions.
Kudret Ozersay, the “foreign minister” of the illegal regime in the Turkish-occupied areas of Cyprus, arranged in late August a press visit for Turkish Cypriot and Turkish journalists and media in the fenced – off part of Famagusta for the first time in 45 years and has said that he will gradually open the city. Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has also recently made statements to that effect.
Moreover, Turkey announced its intention to start drilling off Cyprus and send on 4 May 2019 the Turkish drill ship “Fatih”, which remains anchored 36 nautical miles west of Akamas peninsula, 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 north-eastern coast on 8 July 2019.
(Cyprus News Agency)