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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-10-02

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The Cyprus government will not give Turkey the right to lead developments as regards the hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation of Cyprus within its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the direction it wishes but will proceed with careful action and a collected approach, said in Limassol Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou.

    In statements he made to journalists at Kilani village in the Limassol district, Stephanou said that the government reacts with a collected approach and a close observation of Turkeys moves and policy. It is obvious, he added, that Turkey is making an effort to create tension in the area, to dispute the Republic of Cyprus sovereign rights and at the same time to equate the pseudostate with a legal state, that of the Republic of Cyprus.

    This is why we are not drawn out he stressed, adding that we defend Cyprus sovereign right to explore and to exploit its own resources via political and diplomatic actions whilst at the same time Turkey exposes itself through its illegal and provocative actions.

    Invited to say whether a tense situation is at play in the eastern Mediterranean considering that a Russian fleet is expected to arrive in the area, Stephanou said that the Eastern Mediterranean region is already very affected by the military presence of various countries, noting at the same time that Turkey is the one trying to create a tense atmosphere and to give the impression that a crisis is at hand.

    Through our cautious actions and our decisive political and diplomatic actions we do not allow Turkey to lead things where it wishes, he said, explaining that is to say to try and use the tension to legalise its various claims. At the same time, he reiterated, our moves ensure that Turkeys illegal actions are in evidence at first sight.

    Referring to the meeting the two leaders are due to have end of October with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in the framework of the ongoing UN led negotiations to end the division of the island perpetrated by the Turkish invasion in 1974 and information which has emerged on the subject he urged everyone not to pay attention to information and scenarios.

    The aim of the meeting at the end of October, as the SG has defined, is to evaluate, to see what progress and what convergences will have been achieved until then, if any, as was the aim decided upon after the last meeting in Geneva, Stephanou said.

    Unfortunately, until now we have not seen the results which we expected, he noted.

    As the President of the Republic has said addressing the United Nations General Assembly, unfortunately, no good will exists on the part of the other side, he said, adding that there has been a withdrawal in issues where convergence had been recorded. As a result, he said, we do not have the results we would have wished for.

    Stephanou further assured that the President of the Republic will continue to stand consistently by principles and to show the necessary flexibility and realism so that we may reach convergence.

    The aim, he said, is clear, that is to say achieving a solution of the Cyprus issue the soonest, a solution which will be based on UN resolutions, international and European law principles and the High Level Agreements between the leaders of the two communities of 1977 and 1979.

    The goal, he added, is ending occupation and illegal settling and reunifying the country and its people in the context of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation with political equality, as is provided for in relevant UN resolutions, for one state, with a single sovereignty, a single nationality and a single international personality.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third.

    Peace talks are currently underway to find a negotiated settlement that will reunite the country, 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 regime in occupied Cyprus to delineate what it calls continental shelf.

    Drilling has already begun and is being carried out by Houston-based Noble Energy, off Cyprus south-eastern coast.

    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 has signed an agreement to delineate the Exclusive Economic Zone with Egypt and Israel with a view to exploit any possible natural gas and oil reserves in its EEZ. A similar agreement has been signed with Lebanon but the Lebanese Parliament has not yet ratified it.

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