On Friday, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades stated that resolving the Cyprus issue is in the interest of all parties.
He pointed out that the international community should realize that Cyprus cannot become a new Libya, Iraq or Syria.
During his speech to mark the 44th anniversary of the founding of the ruling DC party, Anastasiades stressed that he could not accept a solution other than a modern state, as it would have the potential to result in greater problems than what Cyprus is already facing.
He referred to Turkey’s theory of the ‘blue homeland’ that aims to annex the eastern Aegean islands and maritime areas of Greece.
Anastasiades claimed: “Our country is also blue and it is surrounded by the blue sea and has an exclusive economic zone like any sovereign country. Turkey’s provocations in the region are translated into a second invasion and we are all witnessing what is happening in Syria, Libya, and Greece”.
The Cypriot President touched upon the last negotiations that were held under the auspices of the United Nations, saying “we succeeded for the first time in making Turkey negotiate and we were able to convince the European Union to be present at the negotiating table, but we were unable to reach a solution. This is due to Turkey’s insistence on positions that are neither in the interest of the Turkish, nor Greek Cypriots, but its own interest”.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish forces invaded and occupied the northern part of the island.
Turkey has since ignored many UN resolutions calling for the withdrawal of its forces, respect for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Cyprus.
A Turkish drilling ship arrived last April in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus. This comes amid Ankara’s announcement of its intention to attempt further exploration in the area for natural resources.
This is the sixth time that Turkey has attempted to dig inside the exclusive economic zone and continental shelf of Cyprus.
This time covering part of blocks 6 and 7, whose licenses have been granted to Italy’s ‘ENI’, and France’s ‘Total’ for exploration.
Last May, EU Foreign Ministers said in a statement that Turkey had not yet responded to calls by the European Union to stop such activities.
They reiterated their call to Ankara to exercise restraint, end these actions, and respect the sovereign rights of Cyprus in accordance with international law.
They also reaffirmed the Council’s resolutions regarding the ongoing illegal Turkish activities in the eastern Mediterranean.