Front Page Headlines
Signatures for the contracts on (the import of natural) gas are up in the air
Rapid developments may overthrow plans for the competition. The Auditor-general, with a letter to DEFA (Natural Gas Public Company), is vetoing the signature of the contracts. DEFA held a meeting until late yesterday and is preparing a lengthy response to Odysseas (Michaelides-Auditor-general).
- Occupied areas: Remains of two more persons (found) by CMP
New ministers lined up
A parade of names at the Presidential Palace. Relocation for (Interior Minister Constantinos) Petrides. (Nicos) Nouris (to join) the cabinet. (Emily) Yiolitis- (Yiannis) Karousos for the transport, (Nicos) Tornaritis for the education (ministries).
- Aerial photo from 1965 located two missing persons – In a property that used to belong to Fazil Kucuk.
- Natural gas is put on the table – The parties are not informed.
An €836m tender competition up in the air
A blunder by officials concerning the tender competition for the creation of infrastructure for the import of liquefied gas could lead to compensations to the tune of tens of millions but also new increase in the electricity bills. They excluded Aktor, a company linked with Helector Cyprus that was shunned from tenders until March 2021…
- The ‘decentralised’ (federation) also in the president’s document
- The remains of two missing persons were found during exhumations near the Tekke garden
Mayors issue flooding SOS
Nicosia’s nine mayors call for ‘drastic action’, Limassol to spend €35m on measures.
- (photo caption) The Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) on Thursday announced that one of its teams had exhumed the remains of two people in the north of Nicosia. According to an announcement, a bi-communal excavation team exhumed the remains of two presumed missing persons. Exhumations started a week ago and are ongoing. So far in 2019, the CMP has recovered the remains of 26 individuals.
He is being sworn in again to… leave again
Andreas Michaelides’ lawyers are filing within the days a demand for the annulment of the filling of the (parliament) seat. The Solidarity’s Giorgos Papadopoulos is taking his place in the parliament’s seats but his stay there is again up in the air.
- Nicosia & Athens: They are hoping for a ‘decisive progress’ at the trilateral
- Back in ‘courts’: The statue that was urinating on Erdogan’s head
Anastasiades: Threats will not break the GCs’ spiritAlithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros
Negotiations Process, Energy, Regional/International Relations
The dailies report that Nicosia and Athens expressed hope that decisive progress could be achieved at the trilateral later in the month between two leaders and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Some political parties want to see the document President Nicos Anastasiades sent the UN with his suggestions to achieve progress on the Cyprus problem.
The dailies cite a government source that told the Cyprus News Agency that Anastasiades secured Athens’ support in efforts to resume settlement talks, during a meeting with Greek Premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Wednesday.
According to the sources, the Greek side said that it expects to see “decisive progress” at the meeting of the UN Secretary-General with the Cyprus leaders, on November 25, in Berlin and is then ready to contribute in the next steps.
At the same time, UN special envoy Jane Holl Lute continues her contacts with all parties involved, and she may visit Cyprus again before November 25, but no date has been set yet, the same sources said.
Anastasiades, speaking to the press at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki where he was granted an honorary doctorate by the Faculty of Law, said on Thursday that Turkey’s behaviour is violating every European principle, despite the fact that it is an accession candidate.
He said that the Cyprus problem was an issue of international law and the EU while threats against Cyprus would not break the GCs’ spirit.
He said that what protects Cyprus is international law, adding that the policy of the Republic of Cyprus is based on establishing and reinforcing excellent relations with its neighbouring countries and that the demarcation of its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) with Egypt, Israel and Lebanon, according to the principles of the International Convention on the Law of the Sea, protect and guarantee the acquired rights of the Republic. In this context, illegal actions do not create any legal effect, Anastasiades said.
Referring to the trilateral meeting he said the Cypriot government is determined to take part in any dialogue proposed by the UN Secretary-General and expressed the hope that conditions will be met for a creative dialogue for a viable and functional solution to the Cyprus problem.
Haravgi focuses on the statements by Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou which the daily said it was a PR tactic to present the GCs as the side that has been seeking for a long time now the restart of the talks with Turkey being the obstacle.
According to the daily Prodromou insisted that the GC side is now focused on the tripartite meeting in Berlin and the aim is “to have a positive response (to the request for the resumption of talks) because in September this did not happen.”
Answering a question about Greece’s concerns over the five-party meeting Prodromou said that what’s concerning is Turkey’s demand to discuss what the form of the solution will be.
“Obviously this shows that things are difficult and that Turkey does not have a positive approach,” he said.
The daily also reported that Prodromou said there is no document on the Guterres Framework. He said that June 30, 2017, was a historic day for the Cyprus issue as the UNSG discussed the issue of the abolition of guarantees, but Turkey has tried in different ways to say that this was not the case, adding this was the reason the sides need to negotiate these issues.
“On June 30, the UNSG raised six important issues. These issues must be in the process of resuming negotiations. There is no document. If there was, we would be more specific. The point is that Cyprus’ guardianship must come to an end with a solution, so no guarantees,” he said, according to the daily.
Phileleftheros reports that the discussion of the energy issue in the forthcoming crucial meetings must be deemed as unavoidable since with their documents it seems that both leaders, have one way or another put hydrocarbon on the table.
The dailies also report that main opposition AKEL and DIKO expressed discontent the parties were not informed of the content of Anastasiades’ letter to the UN before it was sent and want to see the document.
AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou expressed the wish that the trilateral would result in an agreement on the Terms of Reference (ToR) which will be accepted by the five-party meeting that would hopefully follow suit.
He expressed his discontent that the parties were not informed of the letter’s content. He also warned all sides that time was running out and it must not be wasted because the situation is changing, the faits accomplis are been legitimised, and in the future it will be even more difficult to restart the talks, even more so to reach a solution.
DIKO also said that the agreement by Anastasiades for a trilateral was a colossal mistake and sends the Turkish side completely wrong messages.
Far-right ELAM expressed its disagreement with the restart of the talks under threats and Turkey’s expansionist and pirate actions.
>> Cyprus is protected by international law, while Turkey’s behaviour is violating every European principle, despite the fact that she is an accession candidate.
>> The Cyprus problem was an issue of international law and the EU while threats against Cyprus will not break the GCs’ spirit.
>> The RoC’s excellent relations with its neighbouring countries along with demarcation of its EEZ with Egypt, Israel and Lebanon, according to the principles of the UNCLOS, protect and guarantee its rights, thus illegal actions by Turkey do not create any legal effect.
>> Determined to take part in any dialogue proposed by the UNSG & hopes that conditions will be met for a creative dialogue for a viable and functional solution to the Cyprob.
>> The GCs aim for a positive response to the request for the resumption of talks by the Turkish sides within November since in September this did not happen.
>> Turkey’s demand to discuss what the form of the solution will be raises concerns & and shows her negative approach to the issue which means the situation is a difficult one.
>> There is no document on the Guterres Framework which allows Tukey to question what the UNSG said on June 30, 2017 on the abolition of guarantees & that is why the sides need to negotiate the six important points raised by Guterres that day.
>> Cyprus’ guardianship must come to an end with a solution, so no guarantees.
>> Anastasiades must give parties the document he sent to the UN.
>> Hopes the trilateral would result in an agreement on the ToR which will be accepted by the guarantors at the five-party meeting that would hopefully follow suit.
>> Warns everyone that time was running out while at the same time the faits accomplis are been legitimised making it more and more difficult to restart the talks and reach a solution.
>> Anastasiades’ agreement for a trilateral was a colossal mistake & sends the Turkish side completely wrong messages.
>> The talks must not start under threats & while Turkey carries on with her expansionist and pirate actions.
CMP locates two more remains of missing persons in NicosiaCyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
CBMs, Human Rights
The dailies report that the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) on Thursday announced that a bi-communal excavation team exhumed the remains of two presumed missing persons close to Tekke bahcesi in Nicosia in the north.
Exhumations started a week ago and are ongoing, the CMP said, adding that this raises the number of remains discovered so far in 2019, to 26 individuals.
The Committee also issued a plea to all communities on the island to support their efforts by providing information on possible burial sites by calling the offices of the GC and TC members.
According to Phileleftheros, it was an aerial photo taken by an American plane in 1965 showing five graves in that spot that led to the exhumations procedure there.
It is believed two of these graves concern GCs missing since 1964, the daily reported, adding that the remains were found outside a TC cemetery where non-Muslims were occasionally buried.
The daily reports that in the past, during excavations aimed at tracing five GCs missing since 1964, the remains of around 30 TCs were found outside the cemetery, some of which were considered traitors of the TC community and were allegedly executed by the TMT.
The daily also reports that the plot in which the cemetery was created belonged to Fazil Kucuk, the Republic’s first TC Vice President and owner of Halkin Sesi whose offices are nearby, without this meaning that this is necessarily linked with whatever the TMT was doing in that area.
Politis reports that the discovery of the remains and the recent flow of testimonies on missing persons has created optimism within CMP that the difficult task of the researchers will continue with success.
Soon, research is expected to start also in the closed-off town of Famagusta, the daily reported.
The Fatih drillship left Cypriot EEZ but is expected to returnCyprus Mail, Phileleftheros
According to the papers Turkey’s Fatih drillship left on Thursday the Cypriot EEZ after eight months of its presence around 60km west of Paphos in two sites dubbed as the ‘Finike1’ and ‘Finike 2’.
Cyprus Mail reported that the tracking website Marine Traffic showed the vessel was headed in a northeasterly direction toward the Turkish coast and possibly to the port of Antalya.
The daily reports that a second Turkish drillship, the Yavuz, is still operating inside Cypriot economic waters, in offshore block 7 since early October and is expected to remain there until January 20.
According to Phileleftheros the Fatih has set sail for Silifke but it will return since it is expected that it will get ready for a new illegal move for the violation of the Cypriot EEZ after two drillings off Paphos. The vessel will remain in Silifke for a few weeks until it receives the political order for a new location, part of the provocations Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants to carry out, the paper reported.
Prominent GC natural gas expert to attend energy symposium in northPhileleftheros
Under the headline, From consultant of the RoC to speaker in the occupied areas, the daily reports that one of the top experts of the Republic’s energy programme, Charles Ellinas, will be among the key speakers at a symposium on energy and hydrocarbons held next week at a ‘university’ in Morphou which TC ‘prime minister’ Ersin Tatar is expected to address.
According to the paper, Ellinas, who has been criticising lately the government decisions in the field of hydrocarbons will discuss the issue of hydrocarbon exploration, production and exploitation.
The symposium will be held by the Eastern Mediterranean ‘technical university’ with major sponsor Turkish company Aselsan, which is known for the construction of high-technology systems for the Turkish armed forces, the daily said.
Ellinas is the former chairman of the Cyprus Hydrocarbons Company and CEO of EC Cyprus Natural Hydrocarbons Company Ltd the daily reported.
Other speakers at the symposium are academicians, politicians, technocrats and representatives of foreign companies.
The organisation of a symposium on energy cannot be irrelevant with Turkey’s political claims on the issue of hydrocarbons, the paper said.
Boat linked with EOKA struggle restoredAlithia, Cyprus Mail, Phileleftheros
Governance & Power Sharing
The dailies report that a restored caique boat that transferred a gun shipment from Greece to Cyprus for EOKA in 1955 was delivered on Thursday during a special ceremony on the Alyki coast in Chlorakas.
The restoration of the vessel that bears the name Agios Georgios was carried out on behalf of the Council of Historic Memory of the 1955-1959 Eoka Struggle (Simae). Chairman of Simae Andreas Meimarides said that the vessel, constructed in Skopelos island in 1947, had not been maintained for 64 years and for that reason a radical renovation had been necessary.
Deputy Minister of Shipping Natasa Pilides inaugurated the caique boat’s display area which was also renovated.
According to Education Minister Costas Hambiaouris whose speech was delivered by education inspector Genethlis Genethliou, another vessel, the Siren, first arrived on the coast of Chlorakas in March 1954 delivering the first gun shipment from Greece while a few months later, in November, it carried General Georgios Grivas who arrived on the island secretly to organise the EOKA armed struggle.
“It is important for these areas that are an integral part of our history to have the promotion they deserve so that the public will visit them and learn their history,” the minister said.
Cyprus Mail reports that the Agios Georgios delivered arms in January 1955 also from Greece in the same area in Chlorakas but the British colonial authorities that had been alerted to its arrival seized the vessel, its cargo and arrested the captain, crew and the Cypriot EOKA fighters who were waiting on the shore to pick up the weapons.