Nicosia, January 16, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency
By Kyriacos Kyriacou
President Nicos Anastasiades briefed German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem and Merkel reiterated Germany`s position of principle on Cyprus` sovereign rights in its Exclusive Economic Zone, Government Spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said on Friday, in a written statement.
They agreed to meet on the sidelines of the informal European Council, which will take place in Brussels, on 15 February.
In his written statement, Christodoulides says that during their conversation on Friday President Anastasiades “briefed Mrs Merkel on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem and the illegal actions by Turkey within the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus.”
On her part, he adds, “Mrs Merkel reiterated Germany`s position of principle, as this is also expressed through the decision of the European Council in October 2014 which calls for the respect of Cyprus` sovereignty over its territorial waters and Cyprus` sovereign rights in its Exclusive Economic Zone.”
According to Christodoulides, Merkel also “expressed the hope that through the termination of the causes that led to the suspension of the talks, those conditions that would allow the resumption of the talks will be established soon, within a proper environment that will create prospects for a positive conclusion”.
In addition, President Anastasiades and Chancellor Merkel exchanged views on the economic situation in the Eurozone.
President Anastasiades suspended his participation in the UN-led peace talks following a Navigational Telex or NAVTEX, issued by Turkey in October last year, as Turkish seismic research vessel “Barbaros” violated the Republic’s exclusive economic zone.
Repeated calls for the withdrawal of “Barbaros” went unheeded by Ankara, which announced recently the NAVTEX`s extension until April 6, 2015.
Turkey, whose troops occupy Cyprus’ northern part since they invaded in 1974, does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus, in spite of numerous calls by the EU, which Ankara aspires to join, to do so and normalise relations with Nicosia.