Front Page Headlines
Rejectionist response on moratorium in the EEZ
Nicosia calls on Ankara to dialogue for solution with acceptance of convergences. The so-called protection of the TCs’ rights is an excuse, Nicosia responds.
(Turkey) blackmails with embargo on drillings
Turkey demands for the energy programme to be put on ice until after the solution. “To guarantee the TCs’ rights all offshore operations in the south part of the island must jointly cease.” Turkey’s National Security Council: ‘It will ensure her rights in East Med and Libya’.
- Discontent by government-parties on UNFICYP (resolution)
Strike measures at the Nicosia hospital
The strike measures escalate today at the Nicosia general hospital by the hourly-paid staff which numbers more than 550 workers. The cleaning staff is, since yesterday, on indefinite strike. As of today, the staff in kitchens, wards, laundry, blood bank, secretaries and couriers are also going on strike.
- AKEL calls for a change of course (on the Cyprus problem)
Nicosia rejects drilling freeze
Turkey calls for all sides to cease gas explorations.
Reconciliation step between AKEL- Presidential Palace
Anastasiades and Kyprianou discussed yesterday in a “very friendly” climate. Andros Kyprianou: We have no problem backing the government work if and when we agree. We are willing to review the law on phone tapping. The president accepted a suggestion by the AKEL leader for briefing of parties by the ministers before important bills are tabled in parliament.
- Moratorium on energy until the solution – Turkey’s foreign ministry brought back an old proposal. The government rejected Turkey’s proposal and calls for dialogue on the delineation of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ).
- How do the government and parties comment on the UNFICYP resolution
RoC: Turkey’s claims it protects TCs’ rights are mere excusesAlithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Energy, Regional/International Relations, Negotiations Process
The government on Thursday rejected Turkey’s call for a stop to hydrocarbons exploration off the island until after the solution to the Cyprus problem also calling Turkey’s declarations of protecting TCs’ rights as an excuse, the dailies report.
The story was the main item in most papers today.
According to the dailies, the government, in response to a statement by the Turkish foreign ministry against the joint declaration by the Cypriot and Italian foreign ministers on Wednesday, said that Ankara’s claims on the protection of TCs’ rights are unfounded since the GCs never tried to usurp them contrary to what Turkey is doing mainly against the GCs but also the TCs.
Government Spokesman Kyriakos Kousios said in written statement, that the pretext invoked by Turkey, that it is supposedly protecting the rights of TCs, is baseless and moreover incommensurate with international law and the Law of the Sea (Unclos 1982).
He also said that Turkey’s assertions contrast the convergences achieved during UN-led talks between former leaders Demetris Christofias and Mehmet Ali Talat, which have been reaffirmed during the talks by Nicos Anastasiades and Mustafa Akinci with regard to the ownership, management and sharing of possible proceeds from utilisation of the Republic of Cyprus’ natural wealth. He also pointed out the setting up of the Cyprus National Investment Fund in which future revenue from national wealth exploitation will be deposited.
Kousios also recalled Anastasiades’ written proposal to Akinci last August over the creation of an escrow account to the benefit of the TC community, under the precondition that Turkey would recognise the Republic of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ), on the basis of UNCLOS.
He also called on Ankara to enter into dialogue in order to delineate the EEZ between the Republic of Cyprus and Turkey but to also engage in a creative dialogue and allow the resumption of the UN-led talks on the basis of the UN Secretary-General’s statement following the trilateral meeting in Berlin last November.
The government’s statement was in response to one by the Turkish foreign ministry’s spokesman Hami Aksoy earlier in the day, calling for all sides to cease hydrocarbons exploration off Cyprus until the settlement of the Cyprus problem or for cooperation with the TCs in accordance with the proposal submitted by Akinci last July. Should GCs refuse,Turkey would press on with its maritime operations around the island, he said, according to the papers.
Ankara also said its ongoing survey and drilling activities off Cyprus aimed at protecting the rights of the TCs, not Turkey.
Turkey also rejected calls to negotiate maritime jurisdictions west of the island arguing this will only be possible after the resolution of the Cyprus issue.
The papers also report that main opposition AKEL said that Turkey’s statement over the so-called protection of TCs’ rights was provocative arguing that TCs’ rights are ensured through the convergences achieved at the talks.
The party called on Turkey to respect those convergences, while the solution of the Cyprus problem would also solve this issue between the two communities.
AKEL also said that negotiations on the delimitation of the EEZ based on UNCLOS could be initiated after the solution of the Cyprus problem, the dailies report.
Politis, citing government sources, reports that Turkey, through its announcement was trying to murk the waters as regards European countries’ messages of support to the Republic of Cyprus rather than expressing interest in creating a climate paving the way for the relaunch of the talks.
Phileleftheros reports that Turkey is trying to enforce some sort of drilling embargo in the Eastern Mediterranean by using her powerful military position in the region. The daily reports that Turkey is blackmailing the Republic of Cyprus and demands again that energy issues are put on ice until after the solution of the Cyprus problem basically expecting from the Republic to denounce its sovereign rights.
>> Ankara’s claims she is protecting the TCs’ rights are just an excuse since the GCs never tried to usurp them contrary to what Turkey is doing mainly against the GCs but also the TCs.
>> Ankara’s claims are not in line with international law and UNCLOS or convergences achieved during the talks between the island’s leaders on the ownership, management and sharing of possible proceeds from utilisation of the RoC’s natural wealth.
>> Recalls that the RoC has made sure to secure TCs’ rights through setting up the hydrocarbons fund and the proposal to set up an escrow account to the benefit of the TCs provided that Turkey recognises the RoC’ EEZ on the basis of UNCLOS.
>> Calls on Turkey to enter into dialogue for the delineation of its EEZ with the RoC & engage in a creative dialogue for the resumption of the talks.
Aksoy (Turkish MFA)
>> Unless all sides cease hydrocarbons exploration off Cyprus until the settlement of the Cyprob or GCs cooperate with the TCs in accordance with the proposal submitted by Akinci last July, Turkey will press on with its maritime operations around the island.
>> Ankara’s ongoing survey and drilling activities off Cyprus aim at protecting the rights of the TCs, not those of Turkey.
>> Refuses to negotiate maritime jurisdictions west of the island arguing this will only be possible after the resolution of the Cyprob.
>> Calls on Turkey to respect the convergences achieved at the talks which truly ensure TCs’ rights.
>> Believes the solution of the Cyprob would also solve the hydrocarbons issue between the two communities.
>> Negotiations on the delimitation of the EEZ between Turkey and Cyprus based on UNCLOS could start after the solution of the Cyprob.
RoC welcomes UNFICYP mandate extension but cautions against efforts for normalisation of status quoAlithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
External Security, Regional/International Relations, Negotiations Process, CBMs
The dailies report that the government welcomed the adoption by the UN Security Council of resolution 2506 extending the mandate of UNFICYP for six more months although noted that the behind the scenes procedures aimed at normalising the status quo do not contribute to efforts for a solution to the Cyprus problem.
Phileleftheros and Politis report that Cyprus’ Permanent Representative to the UN Andreas Mavroyiannis welcomed the adoption of the resolution arguing that the government considers the presence and the function of the force indispensable for the preservation of calm and for the prevalence of conditions conducive to meaningful negotiations for the long overdue settlement of the Cyprus problem.
UNFICYP, he said, is a small, versatile, efficient and most successful peacekeeping force, operating however under difficult circumstances.
He gave reassurances that the Republic of Cyprus would continue doing its utmost for the settlement of the Cyprus problem as soon as possible, for the reunification of the country and for the withdrawal of all occupation troops.
Mavroyiannis also stressed the importance of the presence of UNFICYP in Cyprus as long as the current abnormal situation persists, the dailies report.
Phileleftheros, Haravgi and Alithia also report that the Cypriot foreign ministry notes the adoption of the resolution but said that in light of the processes that preceded its adoption, highlighted approaches designed to give the impression that the Cyprus issue is a matter of normalising relations between the two communities. Such approaches do not contribute to a solution as envisaged by the relevant UN resolutions since they send the message that the status quo should be normalised, while they also act as a disincentive to efforts to revive the talks process, from where they were interrupted at Crans-Montana.
The foreign ministry described as important the fact that the resolution reaffirms all relevant UN Security Council Resolutions on Cyprus, as well as the basis for a solution to the Cyprus problem and the reference to Resolution 1251, which refers to a state with one single sovereignty, citizenship and international personality, based on bi-communal, bi-zonal federation, with political equality.
The ministry also welcomes the references on the need for the engagement of women and the youth in the peace process and the promotion of peace and stability.
It also refers to the deep concerns expressed on the further escalation of tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean and its serious concerns about the increasing number of violations of the military status quo. These statements, the ministry said, send a message against Turkey’s provocative behaviour in the Eastern Mediterranean and its increased violations along the buffer zone.
The foreign ministry also notes that the resolution calls for the restoration of the status quo in Strovilia, reaffirms the status of the fenced-off town of Varosha as provided for in the relevant UN resolutions and calls for the safeguarding of freedom of movement of the peacekeeping force, which is important, it said, because of obstacles imposed by the Turkish occupying army in both Varosha and Strovilia.
Phileleftheros reports that the reluctance of the UN Secretariat to assume any initiative on the Cyprus problem due to the so-called ‘elections’ in the occupied areas seems to have contributed to the fact that there were no statements by the Security Council members after the resolution approval.
The dailies also report on the reactions by political parties on the renewal of the UNFICYP mandate with ruling DISY echoing the foreign ministry’s statement on attempts to normalise the status quo.
AKEL points out that once more, the resolution keeps equal distances as regards the EEZ issue. The party also refers to the call for direct military contact between the interested parties and to that there is a call for confidence-building measures on financial cooperation and trade, which, the party said, is a cause of concern on the comeback of efforts to establish direct trade.
The party called on the president to grasp the messages which are becoming more and more specific and urgently change his line of action warning that unless the UN receive satisfactory information by July 10, when the UNSG was asked to submit his report on his Good Offices, serious risks are looming, including the upgrade of the pseudo-state from an illegal to a recognised entity.
DIKO said the resolution’s content was an unpleasant and negative development since it does not include references to Turkey’s ongoing illegal activities in the Republic’s EEZ. The party also finds the call on the two leaders to refrain from any act or rhetoric that could harm the chances of a solution as an outrage.
It also finds especially dangerous the call for the creation of a mechanism for direct military contacts.
EDEK leader Marinos Sizopoulos pointed out to the lack of references to Turkey’s actions and piracy policy in the Cypriot EEZ and the Eastern Mediterranean.
The chairman of the Citizens’ Alliance Giorgos Lillikas said that the government has yet to achieve a resolution on Turkey’s stance that has led to a standstill as regards the Cyprus problem and creates faits accomplis in the Cypriot EEZ.
ELAM said it was concerned by the equidistant stance kept in the resolution.
Mavroyiannis (Cyprus’ UN Perm Rep)
>> Welcomes the adoption of the resolution since the presence and the function of UNFICYP is indispensable for the preservation of calm and of conditions conducive to meaningful negotiations for the long overdue settlement of the Cyprob.
>> UNFICYP is efficient and most successful in its mandate but operates under difficult circumstances. Its presence on the island is necessary as long as the current abnormal situation persists.
>> The RoC will continue doing its utmost for the settlement of the Cyprob the soonest possible, for the reunification of the country and for the withdrawal of all occupation troops.
>> Points out that approaches designed to give the impression that the Cyprob is a matter of normalising relations between the two communities do not contribute to a solution based on the relevant UN resolutions & act as a disincentive to efforts to revive the talks process.
>> Finds important that the resolution reaffirms all relevant UNSC resolutions on Cyprus, as well as that the solution should be based on a BBF with political equality & create a state with one single sovereignty, citizenship and international personality.
>> Welcomes the references to the need for the engagement of women and the youth in the peace process & the promotion of peace and stability.
>> The deep concerns expressed by the UNSC on the further escalation of tensions in the East Med & its serious concerns about the number of violations of the military status quo are a message against Turkey’s provocative behaviour in the East Med and its increased violations along the buffer zone.
>> Finds the call on the restoration of the quo status in Strovilia & reaffirmation of the status of Varosha as well as on safeguarding freedom of movement of UNFICYP as important because of the obstacles imposed by the Turkish occupying army in both Varosha and Strovilia.
>> Echoes the MFA’s position on attempts to normalise the status quo.
>> Finds that once more, the resolution keeps equal distances as regards the EEZ issue.
>> The call for CBMs on financial cooperation and trade is a cause of concern on the comeback of efforts to establish direct trade.
>> Calls on Anastasiades to realise the looming risks including the upgrade of the pseudo-state from an illegal to a recognised entity and change his stance.
>> Finds the resolution’s content was an unpleasant and negative development since it does not include references to Turkey’s ongoing illegal activities in the RoC’s EEZ.
>> Finds the call on the two leaders to refrain from any act or rhetoric that could harm the chances of a solution as an outrage.
>> Finds the call for the creation of a mechanism for direct military contacts as especially dangerous.
Sizopoulos (EDEK)/ Lillikas (Citizens’ Alliance)/ELAM
>> Point out to the lack of references to Turkey’s actions in the Cypriot EEZ.
Anastasiades discusses Cyprob, current affairs with AKEL leaderAlithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Governance & Power Sharing, Negotiations Process, Energy
The dailies report that President Nicos Anastasiades had a meeting on Thursday with AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou after a period of harsh criticism by the main opposition party against state policies.
The two men discussed various issues including the Cyprus problem, Anastasiades’ telephone conversation with UN special envoy Jane Holl Lute on Wednesday as well as the resolution on the renewal of UNFICYP’s mandate.
Kyprianou, after the meeting reiterated his party’s concerns on the prolonged stalemate on the Cyprus problem. He said that after the elections in the north, depending on the results, the GC side must take initiatives for the resumption of the talks.
Government spokesman Kyriacos Kousios said the meeting was held in a very friendly atmosphere and there was a positive and productive exchange of views. He said the meeting was the first in a series of meetings Anastasiades planned to have with party leaders.
>> Concerned by the prolonged stalemate on the Cyprob.
>> Calls for initiative by the GC side, depending on the outcome of elections in the north, for the resumption of the talks.
AKEL,EDEK MEPs want clear answers on halloumi PDO caseHaravgi
According to the paper AKEL MEP Giorgos Georgiou and EDEK MEP Demetris Papadakis called on the government to provide convincing explanations on the questions that arise as regards the registration by the European Commission (EC) of halloumi as a protected designation of origin (PDO) product.
Following a response from the EC on the registration of halloumi as PDO, the two MEPs expressed concerns and plan on submitting follow-up questions to the EU for clarifications the daily reports.
The daily reports that the EC response said, among other things, that the name halloumi/hellim is emblematic of Cyprus, and the common understanding on a temporary solution for the product has been achieved under the guidance of Jean-Claude Juncker (in 2015) and will be put into force in anticipation of the reunification of Cyprus.
In a joint statement, the two MEPs are calling for explanations from President Nicos Anastasiades who, they said, is aware that developments on the issue are running but also of the huge looming risks for the definite loss of the PDO and the halloumi trade mark.
Georgiou and Papadakis call on Anastasiades to explain what exactly the temporary solution agreed entails and why it is not being implemented.
They also want to know what are the objections raised and what is the actual problem that delays the halloumi PDO registration.
The daily recalls that Anastasiades has called for a meeting at the Presidential Palace on February 5 on halloumi.