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Emily Yiolitis: Resumption Of Cyprus Talks Require Termination Of Turkish Provocations

Nicos Christodoulides Attends Crucial EU Foreign Affairs Council

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Nikos Christodoulides to Attend FAC and GAC in Luxembourg

Nikos Christodoulides to Attend FAC and GAC in Luxembourg

Cyprus Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides departs on Sunday for Luxembourg where he will participate on Monday in Foreign Affairs Council (FAC) and on Tuesday in General Affairs Council (GAC) of the European Union.

According to a press release issued here today by the Foreign Ministry, in the context of the Foreign Affairs Council, Foreign Ministers will exchange views, inter alia, on developments in Syria in light of the Turkish invasion in the country, the situation in Afghanistan and EU-Ukraine relations, the CNA reports.

They will also be briefed by the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on a number of other current issues relating to EU external relations.

The agenda of the Foreign Affairs Council includes Turkey`s illegal drilling activities in the Cyprus EEZ.  

Cyprus Foreign Minister will brief his counterparts on the latest developments regarding Turkey’s escalating challenges while views will be exchanged on how to further react at EU level.

At General Affairs Council, Ministers will discuss enlargement issues and the draft conclusions expected to be considered and adopted by the European Council on 17 and 18 October.

The Conclusions will concern, inter alia, the new Multiannual Financial Framework, the new EU institutional cycle, climate change, as well as issues related to developments in Syria on the occasion of Turkey`s actions as well as the Turkish challenges in Cyprus’ EEZ.

Cyprus Foreign Minister will address the issue of escalating Turkish challenges, in view of the discussion and decisions that are expected to be taken at leaders level in the context of the forthcoming European Council. The latest developments regarding Brexit will also be discussed with the aim to prepare the European Council meeting (Article 50) to be held on 17 October.

Meanwhile, according to a statement issued by the Foreign Ministry, Ministry`s Permanent Secretary, Ambassador Tasos Tzionis travels to Moscow, where on Monday he will hold political consultations with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Aleksander Grushko, in the framework of the established regular political dialogue between Cyprus and Russia.

During their consultations they are expected to review the bilateral relations between Cyprus and Russia and explore ways to further enhance them as well as discuss the latest developments in the Cyprus problem and Cyprus’ EEZ. The geopolitical situation in the wider region of the eastern Mediterranean, including Syria, is also expected to be discussed.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Turkey has ignored numerous UN resolutions calling for the withdrawal of the Turkish troops and respect of the integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus.
  
Turkey has dispatched several vessels in areas that fall within the continental shelf/EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus. According to a navigational warning, Turkish drill ship "Yavuz" is set to carry out drilling operations inside block 7, located off the south-western coast of Cyprus. 
  
"Yavuz”, was anchored off the island’s north-eastern coast on July 8 and operated within the territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus, until September 17, when it departed for a Turkish port in Mersin.
  
Moreover, Turkey issued a navigational telex (navtex), announcing its intention to start drilling off Cyprus and since 4 May 2019, the Turkish drill ship “Fatih” has been anchored 36 nautical miles west of Akamas peninsula. The area falls within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus. Ankara extended the navtex until November 1, 2019.
  
Cyprus has called on drill ship “Yavuz” and its supporting vessels to immediately cease illegal actions in the Republic’ Exclusive Economic Zone and its continental shelf.
  
A navigational telex (navtex), published on the website of the Joint Rescue and Coordination Centre (JRCC) stationed in Larnaca, also warned all those working on "Yavuz" and its supporting vessels that they will face consequences and an international arrest warrant will be issued against them.
  
In response to Turkish activities in Cyprus’ EEZ, EU Foreign Ministers endorsed on 15 July 2019 measures, suspending, among others, negotiations with Ankara on the Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement and postponing the Association Council and other EU-Turkey meetings. Moreover, the Council reduced the pre-accession assistance to Turkey for 2020 and invited the European Investment Bank to review its lending activities in the country.
  
In accordance with the 20 June 2019, European Council conclusions, Foreign Ministers also invited the High Representative and the Commission to continue working on options for targeted measures in light of Turkey’s continued drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.

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