GCC Press Review | 3 Mar 2019 |

Front Page Headlines

Sunday Mail

Turkey starving north of funds

Turkey’s claims of a technical glitch is really ‘just blackmail’ of ruling coalition.

  • There’s them and us – Despite holding Cyprus ID, a Turkish Cypriot was initially not allowed to buy a flat.


Glafcos points at LNG

Cyprus is called to handle a pleasant headache with serious political and financial ramifications after the discovery of a mammoth natural gas reserve in Block 10. The total worth of the four reserves within the Cypriot exclusive economic zone (Aphrodite, Calypso, Onesiphoros and Glafcos) reach €73 billion and paves the way for discussion on the creation of an LNG terminal in Cyprus.

  • The new strategic dogma of Turkey – Turkey , which demonstrates its power through the ‘Blue Homeland’ exercise, seeks to emerge as a regional sea power.
  • He discussed the issue of the mosque with Akinci – The President of the Republic mentioned to the TC leader at last Tuesday’s meeting the issue of the protection of our cultural heritage in the occupied areas, mainly the question of Apostolos Andreas and Turkish plans to erect a big mosque on the site of the monastery.
  • CBMs (confidence-building measures) in an unfavourable climate – While the Cyprus problem continues to slip away in negotiations, in the midst of a peak in Turkish aggression both within Cyprus’ EEZ as well as on the dividing line, the two leaders agreed on implementing new CBMs.


France in Mari with her fleet

Naval base and upgrading of the Andreas Papandreou airbase. The small port is to be upgraded to a naval base under Cypriot command to accommodate large warships. It will function as a permanent anchor of the French navy, with the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier as the command centre. According to information, France will pay the cost for the works, which will then be claimed from European funds.

  • “Cyprus has a role in PESCO” – Germany’s Minister of Defence Ursula von der Leyen, exclusively to Politis.
  • European Defence – The Republic of Cyprus is in the hard core of the EU, with its participation in the euro zone and also in PESCO (Permanent Structured Cooperation), which aspires to become the defensive arm of the EU, with France leading the way, stressing on every occasion the necessity of defence cooperation among European countries and keeping a distance from NATO, where the US plays first fiddle.
  • The British bases will become prime real-estate – President Anastasiades informs mayors and local community leaders in the upcoming days. Urban planning is at the final stage.
  • The first revenues from gas will start flowing in 2025


Move of Athens with guarantors

Proposal to launch consultations on their role in implementing the agreement. What Anastasiades told Akinci on the decentralised federation.

  • Cyprus problem: What does Ankara have in mind – June could be tricky. The government is very concerned over the Cyprus issue and the aspirations of Ankara, which led the process to start in June. The persistence of the Turks to push developments to the summer brings the risk of linking the Cyprus issue with the renewal of the mandate of the peacekeeping force in Cyprus.
  • Upgrade moves by the EU for the pseudo-state – Moves that point to an upgrade of the occupying pseudo-state are manifested in Brussels. “Green” amendment by the European Parliament upgrades the TC community to a candidate state. Games also from EP Rapporteur Kati Piri who calls for “advanced” harmonisation of the TCs with the acquis.
  • Mauritius’ victory in The Hague and the bases in Cyprus – Yiannakis Omirou: “The British bases in Cyprus are colonies.” Polys Polyviou: “A legal weapon for Cyprus.”


US and France anchor in Cyprus

In March, a major defensive agreement with Paris and ratification of western primacy in the Eastern Mediterranean.

  • Giorgos Lakkotrypis: “Glafcos has exceeded our initial expectations”
  • Cypriot EEZ: Charting the ancient sea bed
  • Political parties: European elections are a minefield for political leaders
  • Turkish exercise: ‘Blue Homeland’, from theory to actions


Responsibilities for the collapse of the Co-op bank are self-evident

  • Progressive approach and asserting rights in the EU too – Euro-elections 2019: AKEL has as its main position in this election to highlight the need, through progressive approaches and claims, to achieve the best for Europe and the European peoples, our Cyprus and our people. It is going to the May 26 elections with a ballot that expresses its physiognomy.


(DISY leader) Averof strikes back

Dynamic launch of DISY Euro-election campaign. DISY president attacks AKEL (he accused it of leading the country to economic collapse and wanting our exit from the Eurozone and return to the Cyprus pound), but also had a dig against ELAM. Support for Anastasiades’ policies.

  • Analysis: The immunity of a second, better solution
  • March 20: Tripartite meeting with (US Secretary of State Michael) Pompeo – (Foreign Minister) Nicos Christodoulides: “The presence of the US Secretary of State is a particularly important development, a vote of confidence.” Procedures also in progress for a quadruple meeting with France, in Paris. Vice president of ExxonMobil: “South-eastern Europe is a source of natural gas supply.”

Main News

Plans for French naval base in Cyprus to be announced soon

External Security, Regional/International Relations


Cyprus and France will soon announce a defence agreement between the two countries, which includes the upgrade of the Evangelos Florakis naval base in Mari so it can also host French vessels, Politis reports.

Citing sources, the daily reports that works in the area of the Mari naval base have already begun. The project is expected to be completed by the end of the year, or at the beginning of 2020. France is paying for the project but is to claim that money back from EU funds.

President Nicos Anastasiades is expected to have a meeting with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, within the coming weeks, either in Paris or Nicosia where they will announce the content of the agreement.

France and Cyprus are currently discussing the details of the agreement at a technical level, while the French defence minister will arrive in Cyprus this week for a meeting with her Cypriot counterpart. Once all details are ironed out, the ministers will give the green light to their respective presidents for the political announcement, Politis said.

The naval base, after its upgrade, will be in a position to host frigates of the French navy currently operating in the Eastern Mediterranean with the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle as the command centre. Politis reports that the administration of the base will be under the National Guard but that a permanent staff of French officers will be stationed there.

The naval base could also host other warships from EU member states which, currently, for practical reasons, are hosted at the ports of Limassol and Larnaca.

The daily also reports that, in the coming weeks, there may be developments on the issue of the US embargo on the sale of defense systems to Cyprus. Nicosia has heard that Washington will gradually loosen the embargo and in time, depending on developments, have it fully lifted, Politis reports.

The daily also interviewed German Defence Minister, Ursula von der Leyen, who said that Cyprus, can decisively contribute to the PESCO (Permanent Structured Cooperation) programme, regardless of its size. Each state in PESCO can contribute with its experience in its own geographical area, she said.

The minister told the daily that it is wonderful to have Cyprus on board as the main idea of ​​PESCO is to have a European response to the complex challenges faced.

She said that PESCO is a win-win situation for each participating state, and has the potential to increase freedom and security in Europe.

The Logistic Hubs network in Europe, in which Cyprus has chosen to participate, is a prime example of this, she said. Participating countries benefit from more efficient use of their resources, generating more opportunities for the EU, added the German minister.

von der Leyen (Germany )
Cyprus can decisively contribute to the PESCO programme regardless of its size.

Athens proposal to UN to push things forward on Cyprob

Negotiations Process


Athens has suggested to the UN to launch consultations between guarantor powers on their role in the implementation of the settlement agreement, Phileleftheros reports.

The proposal was submitted by Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos Katrougalos to UN envoy Jane Holl Lute during their meeting in Athens last week, the daily said citing sources.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras also, during his recent visit to Ankara, asked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to launch exploratory talks between the two countries on the issue of security, but did not receive a reply, according to the daily.

Phileleftheros argues that it is clear that Turkey will not discuss anything that concerns the Cyprus problem before June, not because of Brexit, the European elections and elections in Turkey, but because she wants to link the renewal of the UNFICYP mandate with the issue. It is obvious that there is an understanding with third parties to exert pressure and extortion on Nicosia, the daily said.