Cyprus’ sovereign rights not negotiable, says President

Cyprus’ sovereign rights not negotiable, says President

The sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus are not under any negotiation, President Nicos Anastasiades has said.

Speaking to the press on Wednesday and invited to comment on statements made by the Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci regarding exploratory drilling in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone during the next months, the President said that the sovereign rights of the Republic are not negotiable and that he has not accepted or is willing to accept to be brought to the negotiating table “anything that has to do with the sovereignty of the Cyprus Republic”.

Asked about a statement by Akinci that he is ready to listen to suggestions put forward by the United Nations and that the procedure followed so far has exhausted, the President pointed out that UNSG Special Envoy himself has said that there has not been any agreement on arbitration, mediation or the submission of any informal documents. ”

The President clarified that when needed, as it was done in the past, when our side wants to make sure that a request put forward is well-founded or unfounded, we require to find out what is provided in other federal constitutions for example, in order for decision making not to be inhibited.

He said that there are case where a right is given because the vital interests of one side are affected but at the same time a dispute settlement mechanism is set up.

President Anastasiades once gain said that our aim is to achieve a solution that is functional and lasting based on the acquis communautaire.

Asked whether a solution is possible by July, as the Turkish Cypriot leader has stated, the President underlined that two months were wasted without any justification adding that we all are sensitive to various things but if we say we want a solution urgently, we cannot ask for the suspension of the talks without any reason.

Invited to comment on the decision by the occupied forces to prohibit a mass at the Saint George Exorinos Church in occupied Famagusta on Holy Friday, the President said that he raided the issue during yesterday’s talks with Akinci . He pointed out that it is not enough to preach that we want Confidence Building Measures and at the same time to take such actions that provoke the feelings of the Greek Cypriots.

He also referred to a statement made recently that seven thousand two hundred Turkish citizens were given the so called citizenship of the illegal regime in the occupied areas, adding that these actions are provocative and should be stopped if we want to have trust between the two sides.

The President said that it is not valid for someone to say that decisions were made and he cannot do anything to change them.

He referred to the recent decision by the Cyprus House and Akinci’s request for him to intervene to rectify it. The President pointed out that he does not wish to create a negative environment but at the same time he is not willing to remain silent when provocative statements are made.

The two leaders met on Tuesday, after a nearly two-month break, when Akinci walked out of the talks, claiming that a House decision to commemorate, briefly, in school a 1950 referendum advocating union with Greece was in fact a shift in the long standing position of the Greek Cypriot side for a bicommunal, bizonal federal solution in Cyprus.

President Anastasiades had described the decision “wrong”, saying the timing was not right. Akinci said he would not return to the negotiations unless the decision was revoked. The House voted last Friday on an amendment on the bill, which essentially annuls the earlier House decision.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. UN-backed talks aim to reunite the island under a federal roof./IBNA

Source: Cyprus News Agency