Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said on Friday that the Republic of Cyprus has international law and order on its side and reiterated the Greek Cypriot side`s strong commitment to a solution of the Cyprus problem that would reunify the island.
The Minister, who visited today the secondary school (Pancyprian Gymnasium) he had attended when he was a pupil in the framework of the European project “Back to School”, replied to many questions of students, who asked him about the Cyprus issue and the economy.
Replying to a question regarding the Turkish vessels which are in Cyprus` Exclusive Economic Zone, Kasoulides said that Turkey is exposed before the international community since it threatens the Republic of Cyprus with the use of force, adding that Ankara will not succeed in obstructing the UN-led Cyprus talks.
Turkey, he went on to say, has the military might which it can use but the Republic of Cyprus has international law and order on its side and is internationally recognised.
As regards the economic situation, he said that despite the fact that Cyprus` international lenders (the Troika, EC, IMF, ECB) had projected that the country would exit the bail-out programme it has agreed with the Troika by the end of 2016, it could exit the memorandum by the end of this year, provided it makes the right decisions.
The Republic of Cyprus, an EU member state since 2004, has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN led talks to reunify the country under a federal roof have failed so far due to Turkey`s intransigent stance and policy of a `two state` solution on the island.
Turkey, which is an EU candidate country, violates international law and human rights in Cyprus since the invasion in 1974. Numerous resolutions and decisions by international and European organisations calling Ankara to withdraw its troops from Cyprus were not respected by Turkey.
In October 2014 President Anastasiades suspended his participation in the 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 in January the NAVTEX`s extension until April 6, 2015.
Cyprus agreed in March 2013 with the Troika (European Commission, European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund) a €10 billion bailout.
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY