US presses Ankara to back off from Cyprus

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton privately has pressed Turkish
officials to back off from their threats to send warships to waters
around Cyprus according to a report that was published in the Wall Street Journal today. The report said that the US
Foreign Minister stressed that tension in the region is growing in a
period when President Barack Obama expects Ankara to help
his country manage the Middle East’s political upheavals. The article also noted that Mrs. Clinton spoke to Turkish government officials and asked that they back off from thoughts of deploying naval vessels in the area around ​​Cyprus over its dispute over energy deposits with the divided island. 
She apparently also cautioned Ankara that any escalation of tension could jeopardize her country’s interests in this region. Clinton also noted that US officials also are concerned by Turkish threats to deploy naval vessels to accompany flotillas headed to the Palestinian territories. According to her this could heighten the potential for a military conflict between Turkey and Israel, which are close allies of the United States. 
Meanwhile, on Cyprus, President of the Republic Demetris Christofias said on Sunday that decisive developments regarding the Cyprus problem should be expected in the next few months. A dispatch from the Greek state news agency quoted him as saying at the annual anti-occupation event organized by Morphou Municipality and organizations on Sunday that Cyprus is facing crucial developments the first being the upcoming meeting the leaders of the two communities will hold with UN Secretary General in New York in October. 
Turkey, he said, threatens and provokes having as a purpose to stop our efforts to exploit any possible natural gas and oil reserves, noting that possible findings and exploitation of hydrocarbons will create significant economic and political prospective for the country. “We must face challenges in economy. To face the unprecedented world economic crisis and its effects on Cyprus and to face structural problems piled up for decades”, he added. The Cyprus President also said that in order to face all these, unity and political stability is needed. “Unity and political stability involves all of us, the President, the political parties and the society at large. A possible undermining of the political stability and unity will have significant negative affects on Cyprus, on our people and on each citizen separately he said, reassuring that on his part he will do all he can to secure political stability, the constitutional order and unity”.

Referring to the Cyprus issue, President Christofias said that the fact we have not yet reached the longed solution is due to the extreme demands of the Turkish Cypriot side.He said that recently, the Turkish Cypriot side abrogates agreement reached in substantial aspects of the problem and called on the United Nation and the international community to bring Turkey and the Turkish side into order.President Christofias said that there could be no solution to the Cyprus problem without the return of occupied areas of Morphou and Famagusta under Greek Cypriot administration.

Regarding the exploitation of any possible natural gas and oil reserves in Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone, he said that the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus, as provided by the international law and the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea in particular, are non-negotiable. “The exploration will continue despite the provocations and the tension caused by Turkey. We cannot accept that there is connection between the negotiations and the exploration for energy resources”, he clarified.

Possible finding and exploitation of hydrocarbons will be a strong motive for the solution of the Cyprus problem, he said, adding that at the same time such a development will create excellent prospects for the economy of our country and its people.


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