President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades has raised the issue of the continued Turkish provocations in Cyprus` EEZ, during his meeting on Thursday evening with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.
He was speaking to reporters after his first meeting with Akinci, in the framework of UN-talks on the Cyprus problem, after the Turkish referendum. President Anastasiades was invited to comment on the navigational warning (NAVTEX) which was issued by Turkey on Wednesday and which purports to reserve an area within the territorial sea, continental shelf and exclusive economic zone of Cyprus off the coast of Famagusta for the conduct of seismic surveys, between 21 April and 30 June 2017, by the survey vessel “BARBAROS HAYREDDIN PAŞA” and support vessel “BRAVO SUPPORTER”, Republic of Cyprus.
Asked if he has raised the issue of the Turkish provocation in the region, the President replied, “certainly, I have said that this does not benefit or is conducive to the climate that we want to nurture. It is not possible on the one hand to talk about confidence building measures and on the other hand to have all these provocations on the part of Turkey”.
A Ministry of Foreign Affairs statement earlier on Thursday emphasised that the NAVTEX “was issued by an incompetent authority and is, therefore, invalid”, noting the competence for the issuance of NAVTEX concerning the reservation of areas within the search and rescue region of Cyprus belongs to the Republic of Cyprus. “In this context, proper actions were taken in order to inform all interested parties in relation to the invalidity of the Turkish NAVTEX”.
On his meeting with Akinci, Anastasiades described the climate “good”, noting that the two leaders were informed by the two negotiators on the work they have carried out which will continue on Friday.
However, President Anastasiades said that having a good climate was not enough. The substance, he added, “is to have results. Differences remain and therefore I do not want to create a picture that exudes either optmism or pessimism.”
He expressed the hope that at some point “we must all realize that we really need to appreciate the concerns expressed by the Greek Cypriot side”.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. UN-backed talks aim to reunite the island under a federal roof.