Government calls on Turkey to end gunboat diplomacy

Government calls on Turkey to end gunboat diplomacy

Government Spokesman Nicos Christodoulides has expressed hope that the stalled UN-led peace talks will resume, calling on Turkey to end gunboat diplomacy and commit itself to working towards ending Cyprus` division.

“We are fighting to safeguard the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus and we committed and determined to reunite our country and its people, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion,” he said, in his address receiving the award “Evagoras Palikarides” from the Paphos Association in the US.

The government, he said, hopes that conditions will allow the talks to resume, explaining that this means that Turkey will end “gunboat diplomacy in the Eastern Mediterranean and will commit itself, with concrete terms and honest intentions, to end the division of the island.”

Christodoulides, who comes from Paphos, was honoured by the Paphos Association in the US at a special event, hosted by the Association in New York on Friday evening.

“It is a privilege for me, as a diplomat, as Director of the President`s Diplomatic Office and as Government Spokesman, to watch the Association progress and thrive. Your work is an inspiration for me,” an emotional Christodoulides told his former associates, as he himself as a student at the time served on the Board of the Association twenty years ago.

He praised the work of many Association members and their love of Cypriot culture and civilisation, as well as the assistance they offer to people, including grants 20.000 dollars annually.

In October 2014 President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades suspended his participation in the 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 in January the NAVTEX`s extension until April 6, 2015. In recent weeks, there have been indications that Turkey may not renew NAVTEX to enable the talks to resume.

Nicosia has repeatedly said that if conditions return to what they were prior to October last year, it is ready to return to the negotiating table.
CNA AZ/MM/2015