News Local UNSG's meeting with Cyprus leaders may take place last week of November

UNSG’s meeting with Cyprus leaders may take place last week of November

Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides has said that a meeting of the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres with President Nicos Anastasiads and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci may take place during the last week of November.

In statements on Friday, Christodoulides noted that Guterres’ exploratory contacts on this issue are at an advanced stage, adding that there is nothing more to say right now.

Our aim is certainly for this meeting to take place, but even more, to have those results that will be conducive for the resumption of substantive negotiations as the UNSG has asked, he added.

Asked if conditions are appropriate for holding a meeting between the UNSG and the two leaders, he noted that the Secretary-General and the UN Security Council speak clearly about the need to have the appropriate conditions for the resumption of the talks.

He went on to say that the aim is not just for the talks to resume but to have promising talks with prospects for a positive outcome.

The Foreign Minister reiterated that negotiations must resume from the point they were suspended in Crans-Montana, with a view to reach a solution based on a bizonal, bi-communal federation as provided in the UN resolutions.

At the same time, he added, any illegal activities of Turkey need to be terminated, as required by the international community, either as regards the Republic of Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone, or plans for the fenced-off city of Famagusta or the buffer zone, he added.

Moreover the Minister stressed that President Anastasiades is fully committed and has responded positively from the very beginning to the UNSG`s call, and expressed hope that developments will allow the resumption of substantive talks.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Turkey has ignored numerous UN resolutions calling for the withdrawal of the Turkish troops and respect of the integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus. 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.

According to a navigational warning issued by Turkey, Turkish drill ship “Yavuz”, which has returned to Cyprus’ EEZ, will carry out drilling operations inside block 7, located off the south-western coast of Cyprus. Block 7 has been licensed by the government of Cyprus to France’s Total and Italy’s ENI for drilling operations.

“Yavuz”, was anchored off the island’s north-eastern coast on July 8 and operated within the territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus, until September 17, when it departed for a Turkish port in Mersin.

Moreover, Turkey issued a navigational telex (navtex), announcing its intention to start drilling off Cyprus and since 4 May 2019, the Turkish drill ship “Fatih” has been anchored 36 nautical miles west of Akamas peninsula. The area falls within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus. Ankara extended the navtex until November 1, 2019.

Cyprus has called on drill ship “Yavuz” and its supporting vessels to immediately cease illegal actions in the Republic’ Exclusive Economic Zone and its continental shelf.

A navigational telex (navtex), published on the website of the Joint Rescue and Coordination Centre (JRCC) stationed in Larnaca, also warned all those working on “Yavuz” and its supporting vessels that they will face consequences and an international arrest warrant will be issued against them.

(Cyprus News Agency)

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