Anastasiades won’t respond to blackmail by Turkey

Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said on Sunday that he would not be blackmailed into returning to the negotiating table, ‘Famagusta Gazette’ reports.

He said that the Greek Cypriots wish to participate in peaceful talks rather than respond to the threat of Turkish warships.

Last week, Turkey issued a notice to mariners that it would be undertaking seismic surveys in areas which have been declared by the South as its own EEZ. It also deployed a warship to monitor the drilling activities of Eni-Kogas in bloc 9 of South Cyprus’ EEZ, prompting President Anastasiades to walk away from the Cyprus negotiations.

Anastasiades, addressing the 34th anti-occupation rally, organised by the TRNC municipality of Morphou/Guzelyurt in the village of Astromeritis, Anastasiades noted that Turkey’s recent provocative actions in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone “undermine the efforts to reach a just, viable and functional solution of the Cyprus issue”. He added that he expected Cyprus’ allies to exert influence on Turkey to re-establish a peaceful atmosphere for the talks.

“Unfortunately, the attitude of Mr Eroglu and the recent actions of Ankara against the internationally recognized sovereign rights of the Republic (of Cyprus), left me with no other choice but to suspend our participation in the negotiating process” the President said.

He noted that he is ready to do his utmost for the solution of the Cyprus problem and the reunification of Cyprus, but “I will not enter into negotiations under conditions of blackmail. We want peaceful talks and not a dialogue under the threat of Turkey’s warships”.

The people of Cyprus “need to be persuaded that trust and faith between the two sides should and must be restored. However, Turkish Government’s recent decisions and intentions, as they are being demonstrated, do not contribute to achieving this goal”, the President said.

“What we need right now is the implementation of measures to restore confidence, not measures that increase mistrust among the lawful citizens of the island, through actions that violate international law” he noted.

He also stressed that “I have repeatedly stated that the natural wealth belongs to the state and the finding of a solution will help so that all the people of Cyprus benefit from it”.

Anastasiades said he expects Cyprus’ friends and allies, “whom Turkey tirelessly assures of its good intentions with regard to the Cyprus problem, to do their share and exert their influence” in order to restore a constructive climate needed for the negotiations.

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