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Photis Photiou: Turkish provocations poison the climate

Photis Photiou: Turkish provocations poison the climate

Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou reiterated the Greek Cypriot side’s readiness for the resumption of the UN-sponsored talks for the settlement of the Cyprus problem from where they left off at Crans Montana in July 2017, adding however that Turkish provocative actions in the Cypriot exclusive economic zone (EEZ) has strongly poisoned the climate.

Addressing a ceremony on the 45th anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in Adelaide, Australia, Photiou expressed concern over the current negative backdrop, noting the Greek Cypriot side awaits the UN Secretary-General expression of interest with a view to breaking the current stalemate.

“It is however widely acknowledged, and this is obvious from the reactions caused internationally by the blatant Turkish violations of the international law and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, that the Turkish leadership’s actions have strongly poisoned the climate to the extent that moves which would encourage rather than preventing new initiatives for the resumption of the talks are necessary,” he added.

“On our side, we have stated, as stipulated in a recent letter of President Anastasiades to Guterres, our readiness to contribute to this effort to return to the negotiating table the soonest possible,” he added.

He also said that due to the Turkish stance, Jane Hall Lute, the UN SG’s special envoy could not succeed in reaching an agreement on the terms of reference that would serve as the basis for the resumption of the talks.

Photiou also described announcements by the Turkish Cypriot side to allow refugees to return in the fenced-off city of Varosha under T/c administration as an effort to implement a “plan B”, adding that this action should not go unanswered by the UN Chief as it blatantly violates the 1977 and 1979 High Level Agreements and the UN resolutions from 1977 to 1992 providing for the return of the city legal inhabitants under UN control.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The last round of negotiations, in the summer of 2017, at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

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