Cyprus government has expressed great disappointment and dissatisfaction on the contents of the UN Secretary General`s report on the situation in Cyprus, and has made written and verbal representations at the highest level.


Cyprus Presidential Mansion

In statements on Thursday, Government Spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said the “government would like to express its great disappointment and dissatisfaction on the contents of the UN Secretary General`s report on the activities of the United Nations in Cyprus during 21 June 2015 until 15 December 2014”.

As regards the illegal and provocative actions of Turkey in the Cyprus Republic’s Exclusive Economic Zone, which have undoubtedly led to suspending the negotiations for a solution to the Cyprus issue, said Christodoulides, the report presents the facts in a way which does not reflect the reality whatsoever.

The report, he said, “does not make a clear reference to the continued violations of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus, an independent and sovereign state, member of the UN contrary to international law and the UN Charter and the UN Convention on the Law of the Seas. The report does not make any reference to Turkey`s illegal seismic activity in Cyprus` EEZ through its vessel Barbaros, which was accompanied by Turkish warships.

“The lack of clear reference to what caused the negotiations to be suspended, a little before the start of the most critical phase of the negotiating procedure that began last February with the adoption of the joint declaration, is debatable and does not help in solving the crisis created by Turkey”, he added.

Christodoulides reminded the UN role as guardian of international law and the UN Convention on the Law of the Seas.

The Cypriot Spokesman further expressed the strong disappointment of the government for the insufficient references of the report to the humanitarian issue of the missing persons and the reference to the occupation forces and their cooperation with the Committee on Missing Persons. “This picture does not reflect the reality”, he remarked because it is well known that Turkey, which occupies one third of Cyprus, “refuses to offer access to more than 30 military areas, which, according to valid reports, there are mass graves, as well as access to military archives, significantly hindering the work of the CMP and prolonging the drama of the relatives of the missing persons”.

He also said that the report contains extremely unfortunate claims about restrictions and barriers that impede the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community as well as claims about so called inability of Turkish Cypriots to participate meaningfully in an interconnected world.

“We stress that any economic inequalities between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities are the direct result of the continued illegal occupation of a part of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkish troops”, said Christodoulides.

He called for lifting the restrictions that the occupation force has imposed on Turkish Cypriots to serve the political expediencies of Turkey and aim at the perpetuation of the division and occupation on the island.

The government, he added, “stresses that the approach of equal distance under the guise of impartiality emboldens Turkey and further complicates the existing situation”.

The Spokesman added “we intend to proceed with written and verbal demonstrations to the highest level” that will include the UNSG.

Asked if these issues were raised during the President`s meeting on Thursday with the US Ambassador, the Spokesman said that President Anastasiades and the Foreign Minister have a number of meetings with ambassadors of permanent and non permanent members of the UN Security Council, in view of the UNSG`s Special Advisor on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide briefing the Council on 26 January and the resolution that will be adopted by the Council.

President Anastasiades, he added, already met with the Ambassador of China and France and also held contacts with the British High Commissioner and the Russian Ambassador.

Asked if the government will request of Eide to urge Turkey show good will, the Spokesman reminded that Eide yesterday publicly said that President Anastasiades has exhibited a constructive approach and his approach should be acknowledged by the Turkish side.

To a question if a development should be anticipated, the Spokesman added “the ball is in Turkey`s court”.

President Anastasiades suspended his participation in the UN-led peace talks following a Navigational Telex or NAVTEX, issued by Turkey in October last year, as Turkish seismic research vessel “Barbaros” violated the Republic’s exclusive economic zone.

Repeated calls for the withdrawal of “Barbaros” went unheeded by Ankara, which announced recently the NAVTEX`s extension until April 6, 2015.

Turkey, whose troops occupy Cyprus’ northern part since they invaded in 1974, does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus, in spite of numerous calls by the EU, which Ankara aspires to join, to do so and normalise relations with Nicosia.

Article written by CNA