General Secretary of the C.C. of AKEL A. Kyprianou replies to Foreign Minister’s statements
AKEL C.C. Press Office, 22 January 2020, Nicosia
Speaking to a television station in the morning, the Minister of Foreign Affairs accused AKEL of launching an organized attempt to attack him.
Firstly, I want to make one thing quite clear. Someone who holds a public post should be ready to hear different views other than his/her own, to also accept criticism. We, during all those years when DISY and Mr. Anastasiades were in opposition, listened to things that had absolutely nothing to do with reality and we listened to them. For that reason, the Foreign Minister should not be so easily disturbed because he is being criticized. He must understand that the Foreign Minister is not above criticism and that once he has decided to get involved in politics he will hear different opinions and critical thoughts too.
So what has AKEL told him in recent days? First and foremost, the reiteration of the position that the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) has been politically and legally shielded is a slogan which in practice has nothing to do with reality and we see this being confirmed every day. Turkey has for the umpteenth time been harassing, but now it is coming to drill in the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus and we don’t see this supposed political and legal shielding (of our EEZ) helping the Republic of Cyprus to address Turkey’s provocative actions.
The second thing we told him is that the government has to decide. Who is right? Is it Mr. Anastasiades who says that we should not have any illusions about what measures the EU will take against Turkey or is it the Foreign Minister Mr. Christodoulides who says that we have convinced (the international community) and that tough measures will be implemented against Turkey? That’s precisely what we said. Namely that they should talk to each other and agree on what the position of the government is. If Mr. Christodoulides does has some problem, then it’s with Mr. Anastasiades refuting him on what he has been trying to convey over the past few days.
We want to make it clear that we are concerned about the whole situation as it is developing. Unfortunately, we conclude that Turkey, despite the efforts being made by the government, is increasingly hardening its stance, and if the government does not realize how many dangers there are for the Republic of Cyprus, for peace and stability in the wider region, then it don’t think that it comprehends what the real situation is at present in the eastern Mediterranean basin.
We are worried. We are adamant that efforts must be made to de-escalate the tension, and actions must not be pursued that aim at perpetuating further and upgrading the tension that currently exists.
I will repeat AKEL’s position. When and provided that things calm down it is of utmost importance that such initiatives are taken that must lead to the resumption of negotiations on the Cyprus problem and we should try to resolve the Cyprus problem on the basis of the agreed framework, without concessions and without accepting proposals and decisions that will offer Turkey the possibility of intervening in our internal affairs after the Cyprus problem is resolved.
Asked about statements by the government that Turkey stole data from ENI, the General Secretary of AKEL replied:
I don’t know if Turkey has obtained studies from the ENI Italian energy company. I have seen the statements. I cannot know if any data have been stolen from ENI.
What is disturbing is that Turkey is going to drill in a licensed block of the Republic of Cyprus. It is an unacceptable and provocative act and no one is reacting to stop Turkey from proceeding to this provocative action.
This is precisely why we ask the Foreign Minister – where is the legal and political shielding of our EEZ?
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