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21-02-2018 10:36

Written statement by the President of the Republic, Mr Nicos Anastasiades, on the exploration and exploitation of natural resources of the Republic of Cyprus

In light of recent statements and rhetoric by Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots, I wish to note the following:
 
In relation to the issue of exploration and exploitation of natural resources of the Republic of Cyprus, the convergence reached during the negotiations between President Christofias and Mr Talat, which provides that decisions with regard to the maritime areas (territorial sea, contiguous zone, continental shelf, and exclusive economic zone) as defined by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea 1982, will constitute a federal competence in reunited Cyprus, remains valid. This convergence was reconfirmed in the latest round of negotiations, and was never challenged by the Turkish side.
 
Additionally, the Government of the Republic of Cyprus has taken an important step that proves in a tangible way its commitment to the principle that the natural resources of the island belong to the State and all the legal citizens of the Republic of Cyprus, and that our goal is to fully explore Cyprus’s hydrocarbon potential, in the best terms possible, so as to maximize the benefits for all the people of Cyprus.
 
To this end, the Government has submitted for approval to the House of Representatives a bill, which provides for the establishment of a sovereign fund for the management of any future hydrocarbon resources, safeguarding the interests of current and future generations of all Cypriots, based on the Norwegian model, internationally recognized principles and best practices.
 
Consequently, the statements and rhetoric by Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots are unjustified and unfounded, and do not serve the best interests of the Cypriot people. In this context, the planning of the Republic of Cyprus in the field of energy will proceed accordingly.
 Finally, once more, I wish to publicly call on Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot community to immediately respond to my call to return to the negotiating table, provided that this is preceded by the termination of the violation of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus in its exclusive economic zone.
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RM/ML/SCH