Britain has been active diplomatically behind the scenes with the aim of easing tensions in Cyprus over Turkey’s violations of the island’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) after it sent in its seismic survey vessel Barbaros.
In a Foreign Office letter addressed to the President of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK Peter Droussiotis, the UK government the British ambassador in Ankara had conveyed London’s concerns to Turkey and that Turkey was regularly urged to meet its commitments.
“Recognition of the EU and its Member States is a requirement laid out in the EU accession criteria that apply to Turkey,” said the Foreign Office response, concluding with the expression of strong support for the resumption of Cyprus settlement talks.
The letter, dated November 24, 2014, was in response to letters sent to the British Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary by President of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK Peter Droussiotis, which called for an unequivocal condemnation of Turkey’s violations of the Republic’s sovereign rights.
The Foreign Office letter repeated the UK position that the island’s natural resources should be exploited for the benefit of “all the communities in Cyprus”. “We have continued to call on all parties to avoid inflammatory actions or statements,” it is added.
The letter said the tensions over the EEZ came at an important time in the UN-facilitated talks. This ongoing dispute puts at risk the UN’s efforts, while underlining the importance of reaching a comprehensive settlement. We therefore hope that settlement talks can resume at the earliest opportunity, and proceed successfully.” (CNA)