It is clear there is still a willingness in principle in Nicosia and Athens for dialogue with Ankara, the spokesman of German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said late on Wednesday after the official’s visit this week to Cyprus and Greece.
And that the package that was decided at the European Council regarding the European policy towards Turkey will remain, at least until December, the guideline for action for all EU partners.
Christopher Burger also said: “We should certainly discuss this issue as well with Turkey at the right time.”
On Tuesday Maas said it was now up to Turkey in particular to restore the lost trust and create a climate in which such exploratory talks can have success.
“That is why the Turkish side must refrain from unilateral provocations,” he added.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, after Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.
Turkey issued a new illegal Navtex last week for seismic research by Turkish vessel “Barbaros” within Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone.
Ankara sent on several occasions its seismic research vessel ‘Barbaros’ to Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), following the Republic of Cyprus’ decision, in 2011, to start exploratory offshore drilling.
After May 2019, Turkey caused a stir by sending consecutively two drill ships, “Fatih” and “Yavuz”, to conduct unauthorised drilling activities of hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean, at times 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.
Moreover, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and “prime minister” of the Turkish Cypriot puppet regime Ersin Tatar announced last week in Ankara the partial opening of Varosha beach in the abandoned town of Famagusta. And two days later they did so in full violation of 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.