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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-10-01

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus, as circumscribed by international law and the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea in particular, are non-negotiable, Cyprus President Demetris Christofias said today.

    He added that the Republic of Cyprus is not willing to accept any kind of intervention or arbitration on the matter concerning its rights to conduct research and drilling activities within its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), while at the same time he denounced Turkey for reacting with the pursuit of an expansionist policy.

    Speaking after the conclusion of the military parade in Nicosia, commemorating the 51st anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Cyprus, President Christofias congratulated the people of all Cyprus communities, Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and Latins.

    He paid moreover his compliments to the leadership and the staff of the National Guard, the Republics armed forces, for their excellent performance during the parade, adding that the National Guard continues to carry out its mission to defend the Republics sovereignty and protect it from Turkeys designs.

    Ankara continues unfortunately to carry out an expansionist policy against the Republic of Cyprus, following the conduct of research activity by Nicosia in Cyprus EEZ, the President went on to say.

    He noted at this point that the Republics sovereign rights, that derive from international law and the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, are non-negotiable, underlining at the same time that we are not going to accept any kind of intervention and arbitration on this matter. This needs to be very clear the President said.

    He assured moreover the Cypriot people that research activity for locating and exploiting hydrocarbon reserves will carry on, adding that such discovery would be a blessing for the entire people of Cyprus, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots alike.

    The President noted that natural reserves belong to all citizens of the Republic of Cyprus and added that responsible for dealing with the issue is the government of the Republic of Cyprus, which is the only legal authority on the island.

    Moreover, the President wished for the matter to become a catalyst for concluding an agreement concerning Cyprus talks, adding that Turkey needs to stop pursuing policies that are counterproductive towards this aim.

    Turkeys expansionist policy is a serious obstacle in solving the Cyprus problem, because it encourages our interlocutor, the Turkish Cypriot side, in maintaining an intransigent and disingenuous stance, the President said.

    He went on by saying that Cyprus talks are being conducted amongst the leaders of the two communities of Cyprus, as provided by UN resolutions, adding that the basis of the negotiation talks is well-established. We are consistent both with the basis of the talks as well as towards our principles, President Christofias said, adding that the Greek Cypriot side is showing at the same time the necessary degree of flexibility.

    Addressing the Turkish Cypriot community, the President assured them that he will continue negotiating by showing good will, and added that if the other side also displays the same degree of understanding, a Cyprus solution will be reached soon.

    The President called for unity in the domestic political scene, noting that otherwise, difficult days will follow in the absence of it.

    President Christofias thanked the Greek Defense Minister Panos Beglitis for being present during the military parade, adding that Greece is always standing at the side of the Republic of Cyprus, defending its sovereignty. Finally, he extended his gratitude towards the Prime Minister, the political leadership and the people of Greece for their constant support towards Cyprus.

    Cyprus was divided in 1974 when Turkey invaded the island occupying 37% of its territory. UN led talks have been ongoing since 2008 between the leaders of the two communities with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof.

    Turkey does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus. Following a decision by Nicosia to begin natural gas and oil exploration in its exclusive economic zone, Ankara has deployed warships in the Eastern Mediterranean and has signed an illegal agreement with the Turkish Cypriot puppet regime in occupied Cyprus to delineate what it calls continental shelf.

    Houston-based Noble Energy, whose drilling rig is already in place, off the islands southern coast, has begun drilling in Cyprus EEZ. The company has a concession to explore for hydrocarbons in an offshore field, south of Cyprus, known as Block 12.

    The government of Cyprus has protested to the UN and the EU Turkeys moves, saying it has a sovereign right to exploit its natural resources, pointing out that Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots will benefit from any benefits that may come from oil drilling.


    Cyprus celebrated the 51sth anniversary of the islands independence with a grand military parade that took place in the capital Nicosia. President of the Republic Demetris Christofias, flanked by Greek National Defence Minister Panagiotis Beglitis and Cyprus Defence Minister Demetris Eliades, took the salute of the parade, watched also by the islands political, military and religious leadership as well as members of the diplomatic corps.

    Participating in today`s parade were infantry, artillery and naval forces and members of the Greek military contingent stationed in Cyprus in accordance with the 1960 Treaty of Establishment of the Republic, the police, the fire brigade, the forestry and the civil defence services.

    Present were also a military police unit, comprising mainly reservists, and a special unit of commandos, set up 1996, of well trained regular members of the armed forces. Commando units, naval forces and various branches of the Republic`s armed forces also paraded.

    The Cyprus Police band led the parade, before taking its place opposite the officials to play military marches for the duration of the parade. A 21 gun-salute was fired at dawn and will be fired again at sunset.


    The state of Cyprus constitutes our main foundation and shield against the continued devious efforts to violate the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic, stated House President Yiannakis Omirou.

    He said the people of Cyprus are celebrating today the 51st anniversary of the independence, the creation of a Cyprus state, and our prime duty is to pay our respect to those who fought and sacrificed themselves for the independence of Cyprus during the 1955-1959 liberation struggle against British colonial rule.

    We honour the first President of the Republic of Cyprus, Archbishop Makarios who fought prior and after the independence of Cyprus for freedom, for democracy, progress and welfare of the people of Cyprus, said Omirou.

    The Speaker said that Turkey continues to play the role of the troublemaker in the region, adopting modern day piracy practices. Our obligation is to continue the struggle to end the Turkish military occupation, to unite the state, the people, institutions and the economy. This would be the best way to pay tribute to todays 51st anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Cyprus, he concluded.


    Russian Ambassador to Cyprus Vyacheslav Shumskiy said that Moscow fully supports the sovereign right of Cyprus to exploit its natural resources.

    Our position is absolutely clear , and we were among the first countries to comment on that, and we totally support the sovereign right of the Cypriot people for exploitation of natural resources , this is totally in accordance with the international law and with the EU regulations, so there is no doubt about that, he noted.

    Invited to comment on Turkish threats against Cyprus, he said that Turkeys position is not very wise. This is their position, they do not recognize the Republic of Cyprus, I don`t think that this is a very wise position, he said.

    Replying to a question whether Cyprus can expect something specific from the international community, Russian Ambassador said that so far the situation is more or less quiet and I dont think we will see it becoming hot. Invited to comment on recent media reports that the Russian government is sending warships in the Mediterranean, he said that he has no information on that , adding that he will be available for comments , once he is briefed on the matter.

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