House President: Cyprus’ sovereign rights must be safeguarded before talks resume

House President: Cyprus’ sovereign rights must be safeguarded before talks resume

House President Yiannakis Omirou has said that a possible return of the Greek Cypriot side to the negotiations for a political settlement to reunite Cyprus, with Turkey disregarding the Law of the Sea Convention and with a freeze of activity in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone, will be tantamount to abolishing the rules of the UN Convention and will put legality and illegality on an equal par.

Therefore, Omirou said in a written statement, the government has to secure in an explicit and clear way the sovereign rights of the Republic and their unhindered exercise before returning to the negotiations.

Omirou said that the President rightly suspended the participation of the Greek Cypriot side in the negotiations as Ankara questioned and violated Cyprus’ sovereign rights within its EEZ.

Furthermore he noted that as the UN Secretary General`s Special Adviser for Cyprus Espen Barth Eide appears optimistic about the resumption of the talks, there are two questions which need to be answered: “1. Has it been ensured or will it be ensured that Turkey respects or will respect in practice Cyprus’ sovereign rights in its Exclusive Economic Zone and 2. Will activities in the EEZ continue unhindered, with an explicit and in practice rejection of the audacious demand for a `mutual freeze` of these activities both from Cyprus and Turkey?”

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Peace talks were suspended in October last year as Turkish vessel research Barbaros violated Cyprus` exclusive economic zone and Ankara issued a NAVTEX, which reserved part of Cyprus` EEZ.

NAVTEX has since been renewed and is due to expire today. Meanwhile, Barbaros withdrew from Cyprus` EEZ and all indications in the past few weeks suggest that the NAVTEX will not be renewed.