NEWS

Nicosia tells UN chief Ankara is disrupting talks

TAGS: Cyprus, Turkey, Diplomacy

Turkey’s violations of Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) are having an adverse impact on the reunification talks, the island nation’s President Nicos Anastasiades has warned in a letter to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

The letter came in the wake of a three-week period during which Turkish vessels have been conducting military exercises within Cyprus’s EEZ and seismic research in Famagusta Bay.

Kathimerini has also revealed that vessels conducting seismic research on behalf of the Cyprus government are being monitored by Turkish frigates.

Essentially, analysts say, the activity of Turkish vessels aims to impede research for oil and gas announced by Nicosia in Block 6 of its EEZ, which Turkey doesn’t recognize.

Anastasiades also reiterated his dismay to Guterres over the perceived bias of UN special envoy on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide in the UN-backed reunification talks.

The Greek-Cypriot leader repeated what he told journalists on Sunday and echoed the sentiments of Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, namely that Eide is biased in favor of the Turkish Cypriots.

Anastasiades said that “Eide should understand that statements or threats will produce results contrary to the goal of reunifying Cyprus,” and that “the less is said, especially on his [Eide’s] part, the better.” Eide’s perceived bias has also drawn a vehement reaction from Cypriot political parties, which have even called on Anastasiades to request Eide’s removal from the peace talks.

Meanwhile, a pair of Greek fighter jets engaged twice in mock dog fights with a pair of Turkish jets northwest of the Aegean island of Lesvos Monday.

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