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Anastasiades: Turkish Aims For Two-State Solution In Cyprus Will Not Materialise

Anastasiades: Turkish Aims For Two-State Solution In Cyprus Will Not Materialise

Turkey’s aim for two states in Cyprus will not come to fruition because it is an unacceptable solution, said Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades.


In an interview on Monday with Greek Television ERT, the President underlined his determination to take part in the informal conference on Cyprus at the end of the month in Geneva, for a constructive dialogue that will create prospects to continue the talks for a solution of the Cyprus problem from the point where they stopped at Crans Montana in 2017.


“We have achieved a number of convergences, the legislative and judicial authority issues have been agreed”, the President remarked, noting that significant issues are still pending, the executive issue at some point, property, territorial adjustments and very importantly the issues of guarantees and the presence of troops.


He expressed pessimism due to the Turkish positions. “Listening to positions expressed by the Turkish government and the Turkish Cypriot leader, that of two states, as well as sovereign equality the way they interpret it, I wouldn’t say I am optimistic”, the President said, adding that he is going to the conference with a positive attitude that it will create the conditions that will overcome any perceptions which do not have to do with the interests of Greek and Turkish Cypriots, but with the interests of Turkey.


President Anastasiades urged Ankara to realise that its aim for two states is considered unacceptable by everyone, including the US, Russia, China and other permanent and non-permanent members of the United Nations and the EU.


There is a convergence of positions between Greece and Cyprus on defending the rights of two sovereign, independent states, adding that any aggressive actions against Greece or Turkey violate international law. Athens and Nicosia, he added have common views on how to handle Turkish provocations, he said.


President Anastasiades underlined that what Cyprus achieved is that the positive agenda and prospects to improve European-Turkey relations, to go beyond the non-violation of the sovereign rights of Greece and the non-repetition of illegal actions against Cyprus.


Without wanting to name countries, President Anastasiades said there are countries that due to their weapons industries or their banking systems position in the Turkish economy, would not want to create a problem that would exacerbate the already bad situation of the Turkish economy. There are also interests arising from the export of industrial goods. So, we see three of these large countries to have powerful positions in favour of non-sanctions against Turkey, something that has been witnessed by Greece too. "We have the verbal support, what we are missing is the practical support”, he added.


The President stressed that Nicosia has made it clear it is interested in improving EU-Turkish relations on the condition that the presence of Turkish troops and other provocative actions will not be repeated.


This should be long-lasting, he added, noting that Cyprus will not hesitate to put a veto to the customs association between the EU with Turkey if the latter does not keep its obligations against member states.


Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Ankara sent on several occasions its seismic research vessel ‘Barbaros’ to Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), following the Republic of Cyprus’ decision, in 2011, to start exploratory offshore drilling. After May 2019, two Turkish drill ships, “Fatih” and “Yavuz”, conducted unauthorised hydrocarbon drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, at times in areas licensed by Cyprus to international energy companies. A third ship, “Kanuni”, was eventually sent to the Black Sea.


The European Council welcomed in March 2021 the de-escalation in the Eastern Mediterranean, noting among others the discontinuation of illegal drilling activities. However, the 27 members called on Turkey to abstain from renewed provocations or unilateral actions in breach of international law. The EU also expressed determination to use the instruments and options at its disposal to defend its interests. A report by the EU High Representative, Josep Borrell, presented to EU Foreign Ministers, includes progressive restrictive measures, in case Turkey returns to the policy of tensions.


Source: CNA


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