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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-08-10

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Turkeys threats over Cyprus legal right to explore and exploit oil and natural gas reserves in its exclusive economic zone will have serious repercussions on Ankaras European Union accession course, Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou Markoulli stressed.

    She said the government has already reported Turkeys moves to the European Union and indicated that the negotiating chapter on energy cannot open.

    In statements after meeting member of the South Australian Legislative Council Nick Xenophon, Markoulli said the government and the Republics EU partners will continue to take into serious consideration Turkeys behaviour in general, in particular if Turkeys threats are acted upon.

    Replying to questions, she said there would be serious repercussions on Turkeys EU course, pointing out that already there is serious fallout on the energy chapter.

    With this kind of attitude, it is inconceivable for this chapter to open to negotiations, she added, noting that Brussels has been briefed on Turkeys Turkish threats both by the government in Nicosia and the Republics diplomatic missions.

    Commenting on Turkeys threats that Ankara will safeguard its legal rights and interests in the region, if Cyprus proceeds with oil exploration, the Minister pointed out that the government of Cyprus is acting in line with international law and order.

    We have responded through our Permanent Representative at the UN and statements here in Nicosia with respect to our legitimate rights. Our decisions and actions are based on international law and more specifically, on the Convention on the Law of the Sea, which we are a party to while Turkey is not, she added.

    Markoulli refrained from commenting on Turkish press reports saying that one of the areas for which Turkey has issued a license to explore oil deposits coincides with one of the areas where Cyprus will carry out oil exploration in the future.

    She dismissed media reports in Turkey that more than 20 oil companies have withdrawn their interest from Cyprus, adding that there was no such information.

    The Minister could not confirm a Turkish Foreign Ministry statement that Cyprus-flagged ships had violated the embargo imposed by Turkey on Cypriot vessels which are prevented from approaching Turkish ports. She did however expressed concern over such actions.

    These reports cannot be confirmed. However, it is worrying to see Turkey acting in this manner and creating new circumstances, which can apparently help her impose stricter measures, if there are indeed any, Markoulli said, noting that already Ankara forbids Cyprus-flagged ships and aircraft from using its ports and airports.

    Turkey, whose troops occupy since 1974 Cyprus northern areas, does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus, which joined the European Union in May 2004.

    It is indeed disturbing to see Turkey stepping up its attitude of non-compliance with its EU obligations, something which will have repercussions on the countrys EU accession course, she concluded.

    Cyprus has recently announced that international tenders for the exploration and exploitation of possible hydrocarbon reserves in its exclusive economic zone should be submitted by August 16th.

    Turkey has reacted to Cyprus sovereign right to conduct investigations in line with international conventions, in its effort to halt the process.

    Turkish media reported that the Turkish research ship ``Yunus S`` has sailed from the port of Alexandretta searching for oil in areas of the Mediterranean Sea.


    China has reiterated its firm support for a fair and lasting political settlement in Cyprus, that would reunite the country, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion. This position was outlined by China`s Ambassador to Cyprus Zhao Yali to Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs Erato Kozakou Markoulli.

    An official press release said that Zhao expressed the constant and unwavering support of the Chinese government to a just and viable solution of the Cyprus problem, based on UN Security Council resolutions and the principles of international law.

    Markoulli and Zhao discussed prospects for enhancing the already excellent bilateral relations and expanding bilateral cooperation in international for a, it added. The Foreign Minister reaffirmed Cyprus` support to the policy of a single China and deplored the secessionist efforts by Taiwan, which destabilise the region of Eastern Asia.


    Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment Minister Photis Photiou has said that for the time being there will not be any restrictions on the supply of water but warned that if the public does not help in the effort to save water, the Ministry will be forced to impose water supply cuts.

    Speaking after a meeting on the water situation in Cyprus, the minister said that the dams capacity currently stands at only 18 % and if there is no rainfall by the end of the year, then in the beginning of 2008 we will have only two million cubic metres of waters in the dams, which translates into no water.

    Photiou said the Ministry went ahead with temporary solutions so that we will have additional quantities by next May and June, while tenders for the new mobile desalination plant will open early September. He expressed the hope that these measures will yield results, adding until then we have to take special measures to save water.

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