GCC Press Review 10 Feb 2020

Front Page Headlines

Politis

Minutes show mockery over NPL list

(Parliamentary) Committee on Finance asked Yiorkadji to submit evidence to Syllouris. Mea culpa from Yiorkadji for the inquiry she left unfinished in 2015 after accusation by Koulias. Questions about the position of MPs that are not getting involved despite having contributed to the process.

  • Intense quarrel over annexation of occupied areas: “A horrible scenario” for Akıncı
  • (Interview): Natural gas seen from a Ukrainian lense

Phileleftheros

Defence cooperation with Israel

“Smart” weapons, surveillance systems and acquisition of technical know-how. Defence Minister at the neighboring country today.

  • President’s message with intended recipients: Dialogue without prerequisites
  • They now sell T/C… (property) goodwill – They were granted by the Republic of Cyprus as compensation instead of title deeds. For now number of actions is not big but interest in increasing
  • Counterfeit papers from the occupied areas

Haravgi

Fixed (games)… No one saw, no one heard

KOP (Cyprus Football Association): Has no evidence and does not suspect anyone. 62 out of 85 UEFA files in unsolved pile. Asian… aficionados of Cypriot football.

  • Turkey bought a third drill

Alithia

His undermining has begun

Rage in Ankara over Akıncı’s statement that annexation by Turkey is a horrible scenario. After Bahçeli who asked for his immediate removal, AKP and Turkish government officials also openly attack Akıncı. T/C leader does not back down and insists on his intial statement.

  • Agios Maronas day: State supports the Maronite community
  • President Anastasiades: No to an energy moratorium
  • Turkey bought also a third drillship

Main News

Anastasiades rejects proposal for energy moratorium before a solution

Alithia, Phileleftheros, Politis
Energy, External Security, Regional/ International Relations, Negotiations Process, Governance & Power Sharing

OVERVIEW

President Anastasiades on Sunday ruled out the possibility of a moratorium in natural gas exploration before the solution of the Cyprus Problem, Phileleftheros reports. The dailies as well as other newspapers refer to statements made by Anastasiades during a celebration for Agios Maronas, quoted by the Cyprus News Agency.

Anastasiades was asked to comment on information that Turkey is pushing for a moratorium in drilling, as well as on statements made by Turkish officials to that effect. He said that he would not accept a moratorium on the timetable of energy exploration of the Republic of Cyprus, and added that there can be no resumption of dialogue without the display of the necessary good will.

The concept of good will, Anastasiades noted, means that all should be ready to start negotiations without doubting the Republic of Cyprus’ sovereign rights or setting prerequisites. Turkey, he said, can’t break international law and then ask Cyprus to give up on its sovereign rights in order to negotiate.

Anastasiades also pointed out “once and for all” that the G/C side accepts the principle of political equality of the T/Cs. What the G/C side does not accept, is political inequality, he added, saying that no side should expect to impose its will on the other. In the same way that G/Cs take T/C concerns into account and accept the principle of the positive vote where T/C interests are at risk, the G/Cs want the T/Cs to understand that they cannot decide on our behalf.

In related news, the dailies focus on the criticisms leveled by officials of the Turkish government against Mustafa Akıncı’s recent statements on his opposition to the annexation of the north to Turkey, as well as the T/C leaders response that he will stand by his positions.

KEY ACTORS
Anastasiades
>> Cannot accept a moratorium on the RoC’s energy planning as that would mean giving up on sovereign rights
>> We accept political equality and positive vote where T/C interests, are concerned, but the T/Cs need to understand that they cannot take decisions for us


Cyprus considering deepening defence cooperation with Israel

Phileleftheros
External Security, Internal Security

OVERVIEW

Phileleftheros reports that Defence Minister Savvas Angelides is travelling to Israel on Monday to set the basis for a discussion aiming to deepen defence cooperation between the countries. This cooperation could include joint production of defensive systems.

Angelides is going to meet with Israeli Defence Minister Naftali Bennet and discuss ways the two countries can cooperate in research and development. One of the ways this cooperation can take shape would be visits of National Guard officers to Israel and vice versa.

Cyprus will examine the ways in which Israel uses research and development in its defence sector. Also, the government will explore the possiblity of acquiring surveillance systems based on artificial intelligence which will help with the security of the Cypriot EEZ.

Phileleftheros notes that this cooperation is part of the efforts to invigorate the Greece – Cyprus common defence dogma and the aim of the two countries to deepen their cooperation with Israel, an approach that has the blessings of the US.