President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias has called on the UN Security Council to make clear to the Turkish leadership that any threat to or violation of the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus, or any continuing violation of international and European law, will not be tolerated.
The President made the remark while addressing the 66th session of the UN General Assembly today at the UN headquarters in New York, where he condemned Turkeys illegal act to conclude an agreement with the illegal regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, to pursue exploration within the Republic of Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone.
He underlined that Ankaras latest threats, directed against an EU member state, come at a time when Turkey seeks the opening of new chapters in its EU accession negotiations.
President Christofias told the UN body that the Turkish naval maneuvers in the region of Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone, where exploration is being carried out, are provocative and pose a real danger for further complications in the region.
On the Cyprus issue, the President said he regrets that lately in particular the Turkish Cypriot side is backtracking even from previously found convergences and this change in the Turkish Cypriot leaderships stance draws on the recent negative and provocative policy of Turkey in the region.
President Christofias assured that he is seeking a solution that reunifies the country and its people and creates conditions of lasting peace and security on the island.
In his speech, President Christofias said Cyprus has experienced violence and still suffers from its consequences as it is still enduring the effects of the illegal Turkish invasion of 1974 and the ongoing occupation.
Noting that the Cyprus problem is first and foremost a problem of invasion and occupation, a problem of violation of international law and the human rights of Cypriot citizens, President Christofias said that since the Turkish invasion in 1974, our aim is a peaceful solution to the problem through negotiations between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot community under the auspices of the UN Secretary General and on the basis of the Security Council and the General Assembly Resolutions on Cyprus.
Since September 2008, he added, we undertook a renewed effort to solve the Cyprus problem, under the auspices of the UN, through direct negotiations between the leaders of the two communities, upon our initiative. This effort is focused on the evolution of the unitary state into a federal one, with two federated units, with political equality as defined in the UN Security Council Resolutions. One state, with a single sovereignty, a single citizenship and a single international personality.
This basis, he added, was reaffirmed by the leaders of the two communities in 2008, when they agreed on the resumption of negotiations.
At the same time, he said, the negotiation process, under the auspices of the UN, was agreed. President Christofias said the negotiations are Cypriot-led and Cypriot-owned, as it was agreed with the Secretary-General, excluding any form of arbitration and artificial timeframes. This was agreed bearing in mind recent negative experience as a result of unsuccessful attempts to solve the problem.
President Christofias said we aim to achieve a mutually-agreed solution, terminating the occupation and the illegal colonization with settlers by Turkey in the occupied part of Cyprus. We seek a solution that reunifies the country and its people and creates conditions of lasting peace and security on the island.
During the first two years of direct negotiations between the leaders of the two communities, he said, convergences have been reached on various aspects of the Cyprus problem. I regret to note that lately in particular the Turkish Cypriot side is backtracking even from previously found convergences. This change in the Turkish Cypriot leaderships stance draws on the recent negative and provocative policy of Turkey in the region.
An important aspect of the Cyprus problem, of humanitarian nature, he underlined, is the issue of missing persons. This issue, President Christofias said, must be settled regardless of the developments in the negotiations. Turkey must fulfill its obligations stemming from the judgments of the European Court of Human Rights, to allow exhumations in military areas and open the archives of its army and of other services, in order to determine the fate of the missing persons.
President Christofias told the UN General Assembly that in recent years, the Republic of Cyprus has started the process of the exploration and potential extraction of hydrocarbons within its Exclusive Economic Zone. This, he added, was preceded by Agreements to delimit the Exclusive Economic Zone with neighbouring countries, always within the framework of international law, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which the Republic of Cyprus has ratified.