Front Page Headlines
He left his mark and passed into history
Ordinary people bade farewell to Demetris Christofias showing their affection.
- Ozersay carries on with determination on Varosi
- (Alexis) Tsipras: Erdogan should stop now
- Makarios: He was afraid of being misunderstood (if Church were to utilise its land to generate income)
- Turkey: Erdogan will not back down (on the S-400)
More provocative than ever after his defeat
Erdogan is blackmailing. He demands sharing energy resources. New Navtex messages for exercises in the Cypriot EEZ (exclusive economic zone).
- Farewell (to Christofias) with full state honours
- The agreement of Makarios with… Makarios on real estate-salaries (discussed) in parliament – The exact 1971 agreement.
Immortal (Demetris Christofias)
Your fiery passage has left its mark here eternally.
Farewell: former president buried
Politicians join ordinary people at funeral of Demetris Christofias, who was described as man of the people.
- Erdogan says Turkey won’t be stopped by EU threats, Tsipras speaks of peace
- UK fighter jets complete Akrotiri missions
Triple provocation by Erdogan against Greece, USA and France
The Turkish president raises tensions. To Greece: He (Tsipras) can say what he wants on the Eastern Mediterranean, we will continue our activities. To the USA: The delivery of the S-400 starts next month. To France: It should not talk about Cyprus’ natural gas because she is not a guarantor. Response by the US to Erdogan: If you take the S-400 you will lose the F-35. Response by Tsipras to Erdogan: Whoever violates the rights of the Republic of Cyprus will bear the consequences.
- Christofias was buried with soil brought from Dikomo by a TC journalist
- Britain: Operations for the first time to Syria-Iraq with F-35 from Akrotiri
- Ekrem Imamoglu: He used to play football for two years in the occupied areas
Bill lifting US arms embargo on Cyprus tabled to full SenateCyprus Mail online, Phileleftheros online
External Security, Regional/International Relations
The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday approved bipartisan legislation authored by Senators Bob Menendez and Marco Rubio which would update the US’ strategy in the Eastern Mediterranean to meet new challenges and opportunities in that region, the two news portals reported on Wednesday morning.
Two amendments concerning Cyprus have been added, making approval of the bill conditional. The version of the bill approved by the Foreign Relations Committee asks the President of the United States to certify the appropriate congressional committees not less than annually that “(A) the Government of the Republic of Cyprus is continuing to cooperate with the United States Government in efforts to implement reforms on anti-money laundering regulations and financial regulatory oversight; and (B) the Government of the Republic of Cyprus has made and is continuing to take the steps necessary to deny Russian military vessels access to ports for refuelling and servicing.”
Now discussion of the bill is moved to the full Senate, the portals report, adding that the Eastern Mediterranean Security and Energy Partnership Act of 2019 would allow the US to fully support the trilateral partnership of Israel, Greece, and Cyprus through energy and defence cooperation initiatives—including by lifting the prohibition on arms transfers to the Republic of Cyprus.
The bill provides for lifting the prohibition on arms sales to Cyprus, authorise the establishment of a US-Eastern Mediterranean Energy Center to facilitate energy cooperation between the U.S., Israel, Greece, and Cyprus, and authorising $3m in Foreign Military Financing (FMF) assistance for Greece and authorising International Military Education and Training (IMET) assistance for Greece and Cyprus from fiscal years 2020-2022.
It also impedes the transfer of F-35 aircraft to Turkey, as long as Turkey continues with plans to purchase the S-400 air defence system from Russia, a purchase that would be sanctionable under U.S. law. It would also require the administration to submit to Congress a strategy on enhanced security and energy cooperation with countries in the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as reports on malign activities by Russia and other countries in the region.
The second amendment increases the fund appropriated for Greece and Cyprus for IMET. The assistance for the Republic of Cyprus concerns $200,000 for fiscal year 2020, $500,000 for fiscal year 2021, and $750,000 for fiscal year 2022.
Through a technical amendment that creates a separate chapter for the Turkish violations of the Cypriot EEZ and the obligation of the Secretaries of State and Defence to submit reports to Congress, the bill puts more emphasis to Cyprus. The previous version had Greece and Cyprus together.
A similar bipartisan bill was introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressmen Ted Deutch, David Cicilline and Gus Bilirakis.
“I am thrilled to see such strong bipartisan support for this important piece of legislation to chart a new path forward for the eastern Mediterranean,” said Menendez. “Israel, Greece, and Cyprus are key partners of the United States, and today’s vote confirms that we need a new strategy that reflects our mutual interests. The Eastern Mediterranean is a region of central importance to our country, and it must therefore figure more prominently in how we allocate diplomatic energy, engagement and resources. I look forward to working with my colleagues so that this important legislation is swiftly considered and approved by the full Senate,” he said according to the news portals.
Menendez (US Senator)
>> Thrilled by the strong support to the bill which confirms the need for a new strategy that reflects the mutual interests of the US with Israel, Greece, and Cyprus that are key partners of the US.
>> Since the East Med is a region of central importance to the US, it must figure more prominently in how the US allocates diplomatic energy, engagement and resources.
Tsipras-Erdogan spat over Cyprus, East Med gasAlithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Energy, EU Matters, Regional/International Relations
The spat between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over Turkey’s actions in the Eastern Mediterranean featured prominently in most papers on Wednesday.
Tsipras, who was in Cyprus to attend the funeral of former president Demetris Christofias warned Turkey on Tuesday that whoever violates the sovereign rights of Greece and the Republic of Cyprus will face repercussions.
He was responding to statements by Erdogan who had said that Tsipras can say whatever he wants as regards Turkey’s actions in the sea area of Greece and Cyprus and that his country would not be thwarted by threats of sanctions from the EU.
Addressing the Turkish ruling party’s parliamentary group Erdogan said Turkey will not cease exploring for natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean, nor will it be thwarted by threats of sanctions from the EU.
“The prime minister of Greece has been talking on his own, but regardless of what he says, we have rights there,” Erdogan said.
He added that until Turkey achieved a fair distribution of natural resources in the Eastern Mediterranean she would continue to move decisively in the area. Erdogan warned that Turkey would prevent any gas drilling operations that disregarded the rights of Turkey and the TCs.
Erdogan also referred to France, arguing that she has not right to say anything on the matter since she is not a guarantor power. Only Turkey, Greece and the UK could have a say over the matter as guarantors, he said.
Later in the day, Tsipras addressing Greek military officers stationed in Cyprus, said it is imperative to convey the message to everyone that “we proceed only in the framework of international law and whoever violates that, the sovereign rights of Greece and the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus, will face repercussions.”
He also said pointlessly escalating tension was a sign of weakness and not power.
Tsipras said Greece wants peace and stability in the region. Greece is a country that favours peace and dialogue but at the same time she is determined to defend her sovereign rights, he said.
He also said it would be wise for Turkey to stop the violation of international law, otherwise, the price for EU-Turkish relations and for peace and stability and cooperation will be high. The armed forces of Greece are powerful, reliable and ready to fulfil their mission, in the framework of the international law, he cautioned.
Prior to the funeral, Tsipras had a meeting with President Nicos Anastasiades. Anastasiades also received Greek MP Giorgos Koumoutsakos who was on the island to attend the funeral on behalf of his party, Nea Dimokartia.
According to Phileleftheros, Turkey issued new Navtex messages for exercises within the Cypriot EEZ between July 2 and 17.
The daily said Erdogan is more provocative after his party’s defeat in Sunday’s elections for the Istanbul mayoralty.
Erdogan’s provocative statements also reveal Turkish aspirations in the Eastern Mediterranean. His statement that Turkey would not leave the area unless the natural resources are shared, was indicative of Ankara’s goals concerning the Eastern Mediterranean and mainly Cyprus’ EEZ, Phileleftheros said.
Politis reports that Erdogan maintains tensions high both with Athens on the drillings and the US on the purchase of the S-400 missile system from Russia.
According to Alithia, Erdogan was provocative towards Greece, France and the US. As regards the US, he said that despite pressure, Turkey would not back down on the purchase of the S-400 missile system from Russia. The system’s delivery will take place next month, he said, the daily reports.
>> Whoever violates international law and the sovereign rights of Greece and the RoC will face repercussions.
>> Greece favours peace and dialogue but she is determined to defend her sovereign rights. Her armed forces are powerful, reliable and ready to fulfil their mission within international law.
>> Pointless escalation of tension by Turkey is a sign of weakness.
>> Turkey’s violations of international law will have a negative impact on her relations with the EU and on peace and stability and cooperation in the region.
>> Threats of sanctions from the EU are not enough to stop Turkey from continuing natural gas exploration in the East Med.
>> Unless natural gas found in the East Med is shared, Turkey’s presence in the area will continue & she will prevent any gas drillings that disregard her and the TCs’ rights.
>> Tsipras can say what he wants, Turkey too has rights in the East Med. France has no say over the matter, she is not a guarantor.
Thousands attend Christofias’ funeralAlithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Governance & Power Sharing, Negotiations Process
Thousands of people joined political leaders from both sides of the divide and from abroad to bid farewell to former president Demetris Christofias at his funeral on Tuesday afternoon, the papers report.
AKEL-affiliated Haravgi dedicated its entire front page but also most of its pages to Christofias on Wednesday. The paper reported that hundreds of TCs attended the funeral and quoted a number of messages some of them wrote in the book of condolences.
According to the papers,Fatma Kismir, a TC journalist who knew Christofias, brought some soil from his occupied village, Dikomo, and gave it to his family to scatter over his grave.
President Nicos Anastasiades, house speaker Demetris Syllouris, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, the cabinet, political party leaders, military officials, and other government representatives were all present. UNFICYP head Elisabeth Spehar also attended the funeral.
Politis reports that a number of TC politicians attended the funeral such as Kudret Ozersay, Mehmet Ali Talat, Tufan Erhurman, Cemal Ozyigit and Izzet Izcan but also representatives of trade unions. Baris Burcu, the spokesman of TC leader Mustafa Akinci was also present. He laid a wreath in behalf of Akinci’s family.
According to Politis, the TCs who attended the funeral were warmly welcomed by the people. Talat in particular was welcomed with applaud during his entrance and exit from the church the funeral took place, Politis reported.
During his eulogy, AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou said that the former president always remained humble, and honoured his poor beginnings in Dikomo.
Kyprianou also commented on the convergences reached with the TC community during his presidency, saying that they gave hope that the two sides could peacefully coexist in the Republic of Cyprus.
Approximately 8,000 people paid their respects prior to the funeral and gave condolences to his family.
Haravgi reports that Palestinians living in Cyprus honoured Christofias in their own way by presenting at the place where the former president was lying in state dressed in their traditional costumes. They said they had come to honour one of the greatest defenders of Palestine and of the Palestinians’ struggle.
Varosha issue a move towards a two-state solutionPhileleftheros, Politis
Territory, Negotiations Process
The two dailies report on discussion in the occupied areas over the recent ‘cabinet’ announcement on an inventory of properties in the closed-off town of Varosha in Famagusta and statements by ‘Prime Minister’ Ersin Tatar on the opening of the town under TC administration.
Politis reports that TC ‘Foreign Minister’ Kudret Ozersay has launched a series of contacts on the issue of Famagusta and is meeting with Akinci on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Tatar rejects Akinci’s proposal for the recognition of Ercan airport in exchange with the return of Varosha to the GCs insisting on opening the closed-off town under TC administration, it reported.
According to the paper the case of Famagusta is turning into a dispute in the TC community between supporters of a federal solution and supporters of a two-state solution. The opening of the closed-off town of Famagusta under TC administration is deemed as a choice in favour of a two-state solution, the daily reports.
On the other hand, negotiations with the GCs for the return of Varosha in exchange with recognition of the Ercan airport, suggested by TC leader Akinci, is considered as a choice facilitating a federal solution.
The assessments by the GC side last week through the foreign minister that the announcement by the TCs on Varosha was part of Ozersay’s election campaign for the2020 ‘presidential elections’ were not confirmed, according to the daily.
Ozersay announced that the members of the committee of experts would be announced next week, Politis reports.
Phileleftheros reports that there was a discussion in the TC ‘parliament’ over the ‘government’s’ decision on Varosha. Tatar reiterated that the discussion about a federation is over and that Varosha will open under TC administration. He also said that the coalition ‘government’ was in sync and that he has no problem with Akinci.
‘Dialogue only way of resolving differences with Turkey’Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Phileleftheros
External Security, Regional/International Relations, EU Matters
The dailies report on statements by UK Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt who said during a visit to the British Bases in Cyprus that disagreements with Turkey ought to be resolved through dialogue.
Mordaunt, commenting on Turkish threats in the Eastern Mediterranean, said: “We have a clear partnership with Cyprus and indeed Turkey is a NATO ally of ours. But where we have disagreements we think those disagreements should be talked out,” according to the papers. She said this was the only way to resolve them and that was her message to Cypriot Defence Minister Savvas Angelides whom she met earlier in the week.
Mordaunt was at the bases on the occasion of the completion of the operational missions to Syria and Iraq of the UK’s newest and most advanced generation of fighter jet, the F-35B, as part of the ongoing fight against the Islamic State, following a training period in Cyprus.
The minister said that it was really great to talk to Angelides about the common threats the two countries face and how to work together to tackle them.
She said over the years, the UK-Cyprus defence
partnership has grown.
Alithia reports that it has been clarified during a media briefing that the new fighter jets did not use their ammunition during those operations but participated in recognition and support missions.
Phileleftheros reports that London suggests dialogue with Turkey over provocations in the Cypriot EEZ. The UK is keeping a distance from the expressed position of the EU on Turkish provocations, which was made clear by Mordaunt’s visit. Just a few days after the decision in Brussels (on a proposal by the EU Commission on sanctions against Turkey), the British minister pointed out that disagreements between the Republic of Cyprus and Turkey ought to be resolved through dialogue.
Alithia, referring to the British minister’s statements that the F-35 participated in 14 operations in Syria and Iraq, said in a comment that Cyprus is involved in a war, different than the one for the liberation of the island. While Cypriots blissfully sunbathe at Lady’s Mile beach, fighter jets take off not far from there to participate in the war in Syria and Iraq and return before the sunset. All this is ignored by us who go on living our pampered lifestyle, the paper said.
Mordaunt (UK Secretary of Defence)
>> The only way to resolve any disagreements with Turkey is through dialogue.
>> Satisfied by meeting with Angelides and discussion on tackling common threats.
CMP finds human remains of one person in Lapithos
Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Phileleftheros, Politis
CBMs, Human Rights
According to the dailies, the Committee for Missing Persons (CMP) announced its crews unearthed in Lapithos human remains belonging to one person.
CMP said that on Monday, “a biconmunal group of CMP excavators found remains belonging to one person in an area in Lapithos.”
In 2019, the CMP unearthed the remains of 18 people, the papers report.
Cyprus Mail reported that earlier this month, the CMP had announced that Turkey had granted access to 30 suspected burial sites in military areas in the north without any time constraints.