“Under no circumstances, will the Greek-Cypriot side get carried away by the competitive climate Ankara is trying to foster”, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades noted. During a speech last night at the graduation ceremony of postgraduate students from the University of Cyprus, Mr. Anastasiades highlighted that the sovereignty and independence of the Republic of Cyprus must be respected.
He said that challenges “cannot be dealt with statements and grandstanding”, and he added that Nicosia will issue the necessary demarches towards all international organizations, including the European Union.
He underlined that during his meeting with Deputy Special Advisor of the UN Secretary-General in Cyprus, Elizabeth Spehar, he clarified that the Greek-Cypriot side will always be ready to restart the dialogue on the Cypriot issue, under the condition that “all actions contrary to the international law be terminated immediately”.
He further added that what the Greek-Cypriot side is after is a respectable solution, which will take into account the concerns of all legitimate citizens of Cyprus and render the country completely independent.
President Anastasiades repeated his position on abolishing the guarantees and the interventionist rights as well as the withdrawal of troops.
Meanwhile, Nicosia entertained alternative scenarios in case the Turkish NAVTEX is renewed on 22 February, as the diplomatic efforts are continued in order to resolve the crisis caused in the Cypriot EEZ. The ENI drilling rig remains immobilized for the last week, with Turkish ships blocking its course. The government spokesman, Nicos Christodoulides, noted that Nicosia will move according to the results yielded by efforts in all levels. He stressed that the main goal is for the rig to continue on its course and begin drilling in offshore block 3 within the Cypriot EEZ.
Moreover, the American giant ExxonMobil, which in a joint venture with Qatar Petroleum has rights over the block 10 within the Cypriot EEZ, has not been deterred by the Turkish challenged and, according to sources, two specialized research vessels will be brought in Cyprus, carrying underwater robots which will conduct research so that the exact spot of the drilling can be specified, set to start after the end of the summer.
This can be corroborated by relevant reports by the Minister of Energy, Yiorgos Lakkotrypis, according to whom Cyprus’ partners have already reached out and voiced their support and commitment to the research drilling program, following the Turkish challenges of the past few days.