The General Secretary of the Central Committee of AKEL Andros Kyprianou yesterday sent a written letter to the President of the European Council, the President of the European Commission, the President of the European Parliament, the High Representative for External Relations and Security Policy of the European Commission and Vice-President of the European Commission, the acting President of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and to the leaders of all the Political Groups in the European Parliament, regarding developments on the Cyprus problem and the Turkish provocations in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus.
The letter is as follows:
I feel the need to communicate to share with you my deep concern about the growing tension in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Republic of Cyprus. The explosive situation that has been created in effect undermines the efforts to solve the Cyprus problem.
AKEL remains firmly committed to the solution of the Cyprus problem as soon as possible. The only available way to achieve the solution to our political problem is through inter-communal negotiations within the framework and under the auspices of the UN. We believe, therefore, that it is absolutely necessary to find ways of resuming the negotiation procedure, which has been suspended for three months.
The sole responsibility for the suspension of the negotiation procedure lies with Turkey due to its unprecedented provocative actions within the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus. The facts speak for themselves. While everything was ready for the start of the substantive phase of the negotiations for a solution of the Cyprus problem, indeed the procedure to be followed had even been agreed, Turkey issued its first NAFTEX. It is important to underline that this NAFTEX did not even concern the northern and north-western areas of the EEZ, which are not delineated, but designated the southern and delineated areas with neighbouring countries regions, even opposite to the free coastline of the Republic of Cyprus and in front of the drilling of the EMI KOGAS Company.
The provocative Turkish action constitutes, as generally acknowledged, a flagrant violation of both the conventional and customary Law of the Sea. This is recognized, inter alia, also in the relevant resolutions and decisions of the bodies of the European Union. Having this given situation in mind, it was not possible to resume the negotiation procedure, which was de facto suspended. The pressing need now was to find ways to de-escalate the tension created by Turkey so that suitable conditions could be created for a resumption of the negotiating procedure.
Turkey, however, with the termination of its NAFTEX instead of giving time and room for the negotiation procedure, issued a new NAFTEX. It did so despite the fact that President Anastasiades, before the issuing of the new NAFTEX, in response to a relevant request of the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advisor Mr. Aspen Barth Edie and even violating the red lines of the Greek Cypriot side, stated that “all the pending issues that have not been agreed could be discussed at the final stage of the negotiations, when the Maps on territorial adjustments will be submitted and given that the dialogue is in the final course towards a solution”.
I would like to recall that there are convergences recorded in the document of the United Nations, namely the “Convergences 2008 – 2012″, which in the event of a solution of the Cyprus problem resolve the issue of natural gas comprehensively. The convergence that the maritime zones, including the EEZ, as well as the natural resources (which by definition include the natural gas) will constitute a federal competency, mean that with the solution of the Cyprus problem based on a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation and political equality there will be a co-management of these issues. The convergence regarding the distribution of federal revenues between constituent states means that with the solution the revenues from the natural gas will also be agreed. In the relevant statement by President Anastasiades, these convergences are reaffirmed.
Therefore, with the solution of the Cyprus problem the natural gas issue is also solved simultaneously. This represents an additional strong incentive for a solution, which can only be achieved at the negotiating table. However, with the provocative Turkish NAFTEX on-going the resumption of talks for a solution of the Cyprus problem is not possible.
It is for the above reasons that I address you, calling on you to exercise your influence on Turkey, so as that it ends its flagrant violation of the rules of the Law of the Sea against the Republic of Cyprus, an internationally recognized State of the United Nations and the European Union. The termination of the Turkish provocations, the lifting of the illegal NAFTEX and, by implication, the defusing of the tension will create the suitable environment for the resumption of the negotiating procedure aiming at the speediest possible solution of the Cyprus problem. In turn, the solution of the Cyprus problem will definitively resolve the serious current problems regarding the natural gas.