A major diplomatic effort is underway to address the Turkish challenges in the Cypriot EEZ, with the next few days being considered decisive, Government Spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said today, speaking to Cyprus’ national television.
With regard to developments on the Cypriot EEZ, Christodoulides said “there is a strong diplomatic background with European states at the forefront, and we expect today to see the results of the efforts that were made last night. There are two new facts that I can mention as latest developments. The first concerns the communication the energy minister had mr Descalzi (head of ENI) yesterday evening, who expressed the company’s support, but also to point out that this attempt to start the drilling is done jointly. ENI plays an important role in the efforts made to achieve results. We have also received phone calls from companies operating in the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Cyprus and are not involved in the situation we are currently in, but have contacted us to express their confidence in the Cypriot EEZ and the fact that their designs – the ones that have been set – will proceed normally and will not be affected in any way by what is happening at the moment in our EEZ”.
To the question whether companies like, for example, EXXON will continue with drilling at “plot 10”, the government spokesman clarified that he refers to companies operating in the Cypriot EEZ. “We think that in this context, however, it is important that this communication was taken by their own initiative and is also an indication of the future of our energy plans, despite any attempts by Turkey to create problems”.
Christodoulides pointed out that there is no timetable as to how long ENI can wait, although, as Descalzi has stated that won’t be forever. “At the moment, however, we are focusing on having immediate developments. Depending on developments, we will also manage the other issues that arise, whether they concern technical issues such as the drilling rig or political issues – I am referring to the political reactions and to the actions of the Republic of Cyprus if these do not work”, he said. What’s most important at this moment, according to Christodoulides, is for the drill to reach the target and start drilling.
“The yesterday’s communication of the minister of energy with the company’s representative confirms that we stand by the company and we have common goals and aspirations. The company plays an important role in the ongoing effort. Of course, the statements made by Mr Erdogan recently are negative and do not help in trying to find a solution. Also, these statements are not only about Cyprus but also about Greece, Syria and the United States. But we will not stay in Erdogan’s statements. We are focusing on the goal, which is to find a solution through diplomacy. A great diplomatic effort is under way and let us hope that there will be results”, the government spokesman said.
Christodoulides stressed that very specific actions are being taken, but they can not be publicized, in order not to affect the effectiveness of these efforts. These efforts are not just diplomatic but are being made at various levels. “I think the next 24 hours will be decisive. The UN follows the usual approach they follows. I think there has been a similar statement from the US State Department, the US position on this issue is clear. I fully understand the importance of statements and announcements. What we are most interested in at this moment is to have results through the diplomatic efforts that are under way and our attention is focused there”, he said.
Concluding, the government spokesman said that on Thursday, “the RSD will have a meeting with Mrs. Spehart to communicate to her the need to create the prospect of resuming a dialogue that has prospects for a positive outcome. Undoubtedly, however, Turkey’s behaviour does not help the situation. This behaviour does not help neither the efforts of the President of the Republic nor the UN Security Council’s.
Measures and actions are being taken that I can not comment publicly, but I will say that these actions are at different levels to achieve the goal we have set”./IBNA