GCC Press Review | 19 Mar 2019 |

Front Page Headlines

Politis

The battle to control CyBC is everlasting

The organisation’s revised budget is tabled again. Television channel owners see CyBC competitively. DISY-DIKO rehearsal for the presidential elections.

  • Leaders’ meeting: There goes Pyla
  • (Greek Foreign Minister Giorgos) Katrougalos: Coordination ahead of Antalya meeting

Phileleftheros

Alignment of interests

The US sent out a first message ahead of tomorrow’s Anastasiades-(US Secretary of State Mike) Pompeo meeting.  “The interests of Cyprus and the US have become increasingly aligned,” says the new US Ambassador to Cyprus.

  • Ankara keeps doing exercises: War landscape ahead of the trilateral in Israel
  • The World Youth Summit in Kyrenia caused upset
  • Fighter aircraft from the ‘Charles de Gaulle’ ripped the skies

Haravgi

They cannot hide their responsibility with slander

PEO trade union raises a moral and ethical issue. All loan cases should be made public. Those in power bear heavy responsibility.

  • Sevgul Uludag is a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize with the issue of missing persons
  • Every crossing that opens is a crack in the wall of division… more must open!
  • The two Famagustian clubs Nea Salamina and Magusa are playing a friendly match in Pyla

Cyprus Mail

Provide real news, state TV is warned

Government to revamp CyBC, cut political party fodder

  • The new US ambassador to Cyprus Judith Gail Garber at the presidential palace on Monday to present her credentials to President Anastasiades – It is an ‘exciting time in US-Cyprus relations’ she said.
  • ‘You will not turn Istanbul into Constantinople,’ says Erdogan in wake of New Zealand shooting

Alithia

(Akinci) flashed the red card!

The TC leader changed his opinion so that he wouldn’t remove from his vehicle the pseudo-state’s flag. Akinci will not be attending today the football match between Nea Salamina and TC Magusa Turk Gucu, because it will not take place in the Pyla buffer zone. President Anastasiades will attend.

  • New US Ambassador: “Our interests in the Eastern Mediterranean have become aligned” – The US respects the right of the Republic of Cyprus to develop its resources in its EEZ.

Main News

Cyprus-US common interests in the Eastern Mediterranean

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros
Regional/International Relations, Energy

OVERVIEW

The new US Ambassador to Cyprus, Judith Gail Garber said on Monday this is an exciting time in US-Cypriot relations.

During the presentation of her credentials to President Nicos Anastasiades, Garber said that Washington believes the bilateral security partnership between the US and Cyprus will grow deeper and stronger.

The interests of Cyprus and the US in the Eastern Mediterranean – at the crossroads of Europe, the Middle East and Africa – have become increasingly aligned, and the Republic of Cyprus is a valued friend and important strategic partner in this critical region, she said.

By working together, she said, the two countries can continue to make progress on issues of mutual concern such as fighting terrorism, preventing proliferation, protecting human rights, combating human trafficking, strengthening law enforcement, and improving maritime security.

She added that with the signature of the Statement of Intent by Assistant Secretary of State Mitchell and Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides last year, the bilateral security partnership “will surely grow deeper and stronger”.

On the economic front, both countries could improve trade and investment ties as Cyprus diversifies its economy and strengthens its banking regulations, she said.

The new energy discoveries come with great promise and equally great responsibility Garber said, adding that the US has consistently recognised the right of the Republic of Cyprus to develop the resources in its exclusive economic zone.

These resources should be equitably shared between both communities in the context of an overall settlement, she said.

She added that the US also continued to support efforts by the two leaders in Cyprus, facilitated by the UN, to reach a political settlement that will reunify the island as a bizonal, bicommunal federation. The US, Garber said, supported the resumption of direct negotiations as soon as possible.

Anastasiades said the involvement of US companies ExxonMobil and Noble in the exploitation of Cyprus’ hydrocarbon reserves marked a new era in bilateral relations, one that will serve towards tightening the economic and commercial links between the two countries, as well as towards expanding investment ties and cooperation in the fields of energy and energy security.

It was also a tangible sign of trust in the “reliable and stabilising role” Cyprus has assumed in a volatile region and its efforts to substantially contribute to enhancing energy security for the country, the neighbourhood and the EU.

All the above also serves the two countries’ joint vision of transforming the Eastern Mediterranean into an energy hub that would contribute to the region’s stability, through the diversification of energy sources and routes,  he said.

In its coverage of the event, Phileleftheros reported that the messages sent out by Garber could also be interpreted as a prediction of what might be said during Wednesday’s meeting between Anastasiades and Pompeo.

The Cypriot side has made it clear that it invests a lot in the Anastasiades-Pompeo meeting in Jerusalem, firstly, because of the actual presence of the US Secretary of State  and secondly, because it seeks to secure a stance by the US that would send a special message to Turkey regarding the violations and provocation within the Cypriot EEZ, the daily said.

KEY ACTORS
Garber (US)
>>
The bilateral security partnership will grow deeper and stronger.
>> US-Cyprus interests in the Eastern Mediterranean have become increasingly aligned. 
>> Cyprus is a valued friend and important strategic partner in the region.
>>  US and Cyprus can work together for progress on issues of mutual concern such as fighting terrorism, preventing proliferation, protecting human rights, combating human trafficking, strengthening law enforcement, and improving maritime security.
>> The new energy discoveries come with great promise and great responsibility.
>> The US recognises the right of the Republic of Cyprus to develop the resources in its EEZ. The finds could lead to greater prosperity and stability of the Eastern Mediterranean and help diversify Europe’s energy supply.
>> Natural resources should be equitably shared between both communities in the context of an overall settlement.
>> The US continues to support efforts by the two leaders to reach a solution that will reunify the island as a bizonal, bicommunal federation and supports the resumption of talks as soon as possible.

Anastasiades
>> The involvement of US companies in Cyprus’ EEZ marked new era in bilateral relations.
>> US involvement is a sign of trust in the role Cyprus has assumed in the region to contribute to enhancing energy security for the country, neighbourhood and EU.
>> Cyprus and US share the same vision of transforming the Eastern Mediterranean into an energy hub that could lead to stability in the region.


Turkey flexes its muscles ahead of Jerusalem trilateral

Phileleftheros
Regional/International Relations, External Security

OVERVIEW

Turkey is trying to create tension in the region again ahead of the trilateral meeting between Greece, Cyprus and Israel on Wednesday in Jerusalem, which will be attended by US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo.

Pompeo’s attendance is a message from Washington to Turkey against the latter’s constant war threats mainly against Cyprus, the daily said. Citing sources, the daily said that the joint announcement of the summit will include a stern warning against threats by third countries.

It also reports that Turkey has reserved sea areas and issued Navtex messages for exercises off Greece and Cyprus.

Ankara has reserved an area for March 25, between the islands of Rhodes and Kastellorizo and two more areas for March 20, the day the three leaders of Greece, Cyprus and Israel will discuss their energy plans in the presence of Pompeo.

Turkey also issued a Navtex on March 13 reserving a sea area within the Cypriot EEZ south of Limassol which is also reserved for March 25, and reserved a large sea area west of Paphos for March 24.

Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said during a speech at an event on Monday commemorating the 1915 Gallipoli campaign, that Turkey’s patience was being tested in Cyprus, the Aegean, Syria and Iraq, the daily said.

He said that a century has passed since the battle of the Dardanelles and some still continue to try the patience of Turkey, by harassing its borders with Syria and Iraq, while in Cyprus they were trying to violate Turkey’s rights and in the Aegean by trying to turn the area into an inaccessible sea.

KEY ACTORS
Erdogan
>> Some in Cyprus are testing Turkey’s patience by attempting to violate its rights


Kyprianou: Crossings crack the wall dividing the two sides

Haravgi, Phileleftheros
Negotiations Process, CBMs

OVERVIEW

AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou called on the two leaders to recognise their responsibility and cooperate as Cypriots to reach a solution to the Cyprus problem based on the agreed framework.

During a visit to the Deryneia crossing along with his party’s candidate MEPs, Kyprianou said that each crossing opening is a crack in the wall of division.

He said that the most people to have passed in a day to and from the north through Deryneia are 3,200. Traffic increases on weekends, he said.

More crossings need to open, he said, for which several communities have launched demands.

It is important, however, that these crossings don’t cement the current situation, he said. We do want these cracks in the wall of division with the aim of reaching a solution that will reunite the country which belongs both to GCs and TCs, he added.

Kyprianou expressed the view that AKEL is very concerned by the statements of the two leaders, that appear to show it will be difficult to reach an agreement on the terms of reference (ToR).

“We had unfortunately predicted from the beginning that it would be more difficult to agree to the ToR than going ahead with the procedure as set by the UN Secretary-General at the time.”

As the dead end is prolonged, there is serious risk of other options being tabled, Kyprianou said, adding that a two-state solution would be disastrous for Cyprus.

AKEL will not accept this and will fight against it with all its strength, he said.

KEY ACTORS
Kyprianou (AKEL)

>> The two leaders must recognise their responsibility and cooperate as Cypriots to reach a solution to the Cyprus problem based on the agreed framework.
>> More crossings need to open but the aim is a solution that will reunite the country.
>> Reaching an agreement on the ToR will be more difficult than proceeding with the procedure as described by the UN Secretary-General during the talks in Switzerland.
>> As long as the standstill remains there is serious risk of other options being tabled such as a two-state solution which would be disastrous for Cyprus.
>> AKEL will not accept a two-state solution.


Akinci will not attend Pyla football match

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
CBMs

OVERVIEW

TC leader Mustafa Akinci will not attend the bicommunal football match in Pyla, Phileleftheros online reported on Tuesday.

Akinci said on Monday he would attend the match on Tuesday only if it took place in the buffer zone near the mixed village of Pyla as he was initially told and not on the Greek Cypriot side.

Akinci was invited to attend along with President Nicos Anastasiades the bicommunal football match in Pyla, between GC Nea Salamina Ammochostou FC and TC Magusa Turk Gucu FC which will be attended by ex-Chelsea superstar Didier Drogba.

Anastasiades intends on going, some dailies report, but no official announcement was made.

Akinci’s spokesman Baris Burcu said on Monday that the TC leader would only attend if the match took place in the buffer zone as he was initially told. Burcu said that Akinci had accepted the invitation extended to him by the organisers after he was told that the match would take place in the buffer zone, but later on he was informed it would take place on the Greek Cypriot side of the village. Akinci contacted Anastasiades who told him he had no objection if the match took place in the buffer zone, Burcu said.

According to Alithia, even though no further explanations were given, sources said that if Akinci attends an event in the government-controlled areas he will not be able to fly the flag of the pseudo state on his car.

Citing sources, Alithia said that Akinci had informed the organisers and the UN on Sunday that he had accepted the invitation believing that the event would take place at the old football field in the centre of Pyla which is within the buffer zone. He said he wasn’t aware that the field the event would take place in would be within the Republic.

From Akinci’s request for a change of venue it is understood that he would not wish in any case to be forced to remove the symbols of the pseudo-state from his vehicle, the daily said.

The UN made clear that no change was possible at the last moment, it said.

Phileleftheros said that Akinci is playing games and puts his own terms but also obstacles for his presence at the football match.

The daily reports that there is no football field within the buffer zone, adding that it had been initially agreed that the match would take place at the Pyla pitch. Citing sources, the daily said that when the two leaders were invited last January, the match was scheduled to take place at the Pyla football pitch and Akinci had accepted the invitation at the time.

Politis said the Pyla meeting sank at the eleventh hour and Akinci found a last-minute excuse not to attend the match.

The dispute over the venue casts a shadow over the event co-organised by the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation and Monaco-based organisation ‘Sport and Peace’, Cyprus Mail said.

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, founder of the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation, said earlier on Monday during a press conference to announce the 11th bicommunal Stelios awards, that the football match is an evolution of the awards.

By arranging this, the organisers are planning to reach a different audience, he said.

Sir Stelios did not refer directly to the venue dispute but said what counted was that it was taking place in the mixed village of Pyla, and hoped it could become an annual event.


Sir Stelios: Bicommunal awards aim at solidifying peace

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Politis
Economy, CBMs

OVERVIEW

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou announced on Monday the 11th bicommunal Stelios awards whereby €500,000 will be offered to a total of 50 bicommunal teams that could win €10,000 each.

The foundation has paid out a total of €3.75m in bicommunal awards over the past 11 years.

Hadji-Ioannou said that he was not discouraged by developments in the Cyprus problem.

The number of applications each year depends on the political climate, he said, adding that the awards are a sort of barometer for the political climate.

The largest number of applications submitted was in 2017 when the efforts to solve the Cyprus problem were underway in Crans-Montana while there was a 20 per cent reduction last year.

“This is a marathon, not a sprint,” he said, adding that the awards also help the economy.

The aim, he said, is not to solve the Cyprus problem “by tomorrow morning” or affect political decisions but to ensure there is lasting peace on the island.


TC journalist and activist proposed for Nobel Peace Prize

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Human Rights

OVERVIEW

TC author and journalist Sevgul Uludag has been put forward to the Nobel Peace Prize Committee for her work with the issue of missing persons.

Her name was put forward by Anna Agathangelou, Assistant Professor of Political Sciences at the University of York, Canada.

The editors of the newspapers, Yeni Duzen and Politis, in a joint statement, welcomed the move for Uludag’s valuable contribution to efforts to identify the fate of the missing as well as the use of her journalistic skills to solve problems of the two communities in democratic ways with the aim of creating mutual understanding on this sensitive issue.

This candidacy also honours her efforts and her active struggle for peace and reconciliation in Cyprus for almost half a century, they said.

For the past 13 years, Uludag runs a volunteer ‘hotline’ for her readers from both communities to communicate with her anonymously to provide information, some of which is published in the two newspapers, while others submit the information to the Committee on Missing Persons. She has also brought together relatives of missing persons from both communities, helping them to create a bicommunal organisation of relatives of missing and war victims called ‘Together we can!’


French aeronautical exercise underway off Cyprus

Phileleftheros
Regional/International Relations, External Security

OVERVIEW

Fighter aircraft of the French airforce flew on Monday over Larnaca and the free Famagusta area as part of the aeronautical exercise taking place south and southwest of Cyprus.

The exercise started last week and is to wrap up on Wednesday. The aircraft took off from the Charles de Gaulle carrier that is docked off Crete, the daily said.

The National Guard on Monday informed the public that French Rafale fighter aircraft that are participating in the exercise would fly within the Nicosia Flight Information Region (FIR) in the coming days, over Paphos and Larnaca.


Cyprus reports organisers of event in north to the UN

Haravgi, Phileleftheros
Regional/International Relations

OVERVIEW

The foreign ministry has asked a group organising a youth summit in the north next month to remove from its website their false allegations that they are linked with the United Nations.

The ministry, according to the Cyprus News Agency, informed the UN that organisers of an event organised in Kyrenia between April 26 and 28, called the World Youth Summit, said on its website that the UN is involved in the event.

After the UN gave reassurances they are not involved, the ministry asked organisers to remove this inaccuracy from their website.

UN spokesman in Cyprus Aleem Siddique said that the legal advisors of the UN are dealing with the matter.

Organisers said on their website that the World Youth Summit was established in November 2018 with the support of United Youth Circuit leaders and that its first event would take place in the ‘TRNC’.

Right-wing pupil body EFEN is collecting signatures against the organisation of the event, calling on the ministries of foreign affairs and education to prevent it from taking place.