TRNC News Today 9th February 2015
British High Commissioner Todd: “Turkish Cypriots’ isolation is an objective reality”
British High Commissioner Damian Roderick (Ric) Todd gave an interview to the weekly Greek Cypriot newspaper Kathimerini and said: “Turkish Cypriots’ isolation is an objective reality and it is one of those points that were repeated in the report of the Secretary-General to the Security Council last January.”
Todd declared that the UK and the EU aim to move Direct Trade Regulation forward with the TRNC. Todd said: “The EU has this policy since 2004 when both the EU and the UN promised to take steps to reduce the isolations on the Turkish Cypriots. The United Kingdom does what other EU members do and what is agreed by unanimous vote. Consequently, this is the EU’s aim.”
Todd also stated that Hydrocarbons will be one of those topics to be negotiated and he added that it would be realistic if the negotiations begin before April.
Todd warned the Greek Side about the possibility of signing Military Bases Agreement between Russia and South Cyprus. Todd also highlighted that regarding a possible Military Bases Agreement; South Cyprus should take into consideration the joint position of the EU on Russia.
Greek Cypriot leader threatens
Leader of the Greek Cypriot Administration Nikos Anastasiades called upon British High Commissioner Damian Roderick (Ric) Todd to avoid using groundless expressions. Todd said that it is an objective reality that Turkish Cypriots are under isolations and that Direct Trade Regulation is the aim of the EU.
Greek Cypriot radio announced that Anastasiades said: “It is better not to use such groundless expressions in a period when delicate actions are needed in the Cyprus issue.”
Russia is reportedly getting military bases in an EU state
According to the article of Elena Holodny published in Business Insider under the headline ‘Russia is reportedly getting military bases in an EU state’, the Greek Cypriot side has offered Russia to have air and navy bases on its territory.
The article states that the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades announced that the country is ready to host Russian aviation and naval bases, and the official agreement on military cooperation between the two nations is expected be signed on February 25, 2015, according to Lenta.ru. The article continues: “There is an old [defense] agreement, which should be renewed as is. At the same time, some additional services will be provided in the same way as we do with other countries, such as, for example, with France and Germany,” Nicos Anastasiades said. “Cyprus and Russia have traditionally had good relations, and this is not subject to change.”
It has also been mentioned in the article that the Greek Cypriot side’s announcement comes after Russia expressed interest in having a military base in South Cyprus in late January, according to the Global Post and Greek Reporter. Notably, South Cyprus is one of the 28-member states in the EU, which have been imposing sanctions on Russia over the past year in response to the actions in Ukraine. And just like Greece has recently caused a stir by complicating the process of extending sanctions on Russia, South Cyprus, too, just voiced some opposition to the additional sanctions on Russia, adding that many EU members share that opinion.
“We want to avoid further deterioration of relations between Russia and the European Union,” leader of the Greek Cypriot side reportedly said. So military cooperation between South Cyprus and Russia is yet another red flag for the EU.
The Article also noted: “Presumably, the Russian Air Force will use the airbase “Andreas Papandreou,” along with the international airport of Paphos in the southwest of the island, approximately 50 kilometers from the air base of the British Royal Air Force “Akrotiri.” Additionally, the Russian navy will be able to permanently use the base of Limassol, according to Lenta.Ru.
“The Limassol port borders on the British air base of Akrotiri which serves NATO operations and is also an important hub in the electronic military surveillance system of the alliance,” according to the Global Post. Given Russia and South Cyprus’ shady economic relationship over the last two decades (ever since the fall of the USSR), perhaps this isn’t all that surprising. Russia Today reports that “Russians have transferred over $30 billion (around $1 trillion roubles) to South Cyprus over the past twenty years, according to a study published by a group of economists from Russia, Finland and Canada.”
According to the article, in 2013, during the South Cyprus financial crisis, analysts estimated that over a third of bank deposits in South Cyprus may have had Russian origin, and reportedly, many Russian companies are registered on the island. Some reports even went as far as saying that South Cyprus has become “a major money laundering machine for Russian criminals” back in 2013. Even today, Russia’s current economic problems are reportedly further dragging down South Cyprus.
According to the article, “Russia’s presence in the economy has been a huge supporting factor. Its footprint is everywhere from tourism to real estate, so it is worth monitoring the impact,” said Michael Florentiades, chief economist and head of investment research at XM.com, an online financial services company in Limassol.
The article recorded that naturally, Russia’s heavy-duty financial involvement in an EU state “raised concerns among the island country’s Western allies” over the past few years, according to Euractiv. But the most alarming Russia-South Cyprus dalliance came during the height of the South Cyprus financial crisis when South Cyprus was reportedly negotiating with Russia for a bailout in 2013. The EU was particularly nervous about this because there was speculation that Russia might ask for a naval port and access to the country’s gas reserves in return.
Finally the article mentions that ultimately South Cyprus opted for a “€10 billion bailout agreed with the troika, in return for closing the country’s second largest bank Laiki, and imposing a one-time levy on all uninsured deposits, including those held by foreign citizens.”
Cavusoglu recorded that Turkey and the TRNC desire to continue negotiations and they are waiting at the table
Reminding that there is a deadlock in the Cyprus issue, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Cavusoglu said that the sides should return to the table and start negotiations. Cavusoglu also indicated that Turkey and the TRNC desire to continue the negotiations and they are waiting at the table.
Pointing out that difference in ideologies is not their concern Cavusoglu said: “We work with many parties and governments which have different ideologies all over the world. We know that Cipras views such problems as more international. It is obvious that they will defend their own interests. As the motherland and the guarantor country, we will continue to defend the rights of Turkey, the Turkish nation and the TRNC.”
Bozkır: “Cyprus problem is approaching towards a solution”
Turkish EU Minister and the Chief Negotiator Volkan Bozkır said: “Cyprus problem is approaching towards a solution. The recent statement in February also comprises the elements of a solution. The solution of the Cyprus problem is easier than the solution of the problems in Syria, Ukraine and Palestine, since its parameters are known.”
Bozkır also said that natural gas reserves created problems in Cyprus however there may not be as much natural gas reserves as it has already been stated.
Refugee Tragedy in Lapta
38 Syrians, composed of 25 men, 8 women and 5 children, were found in a house in Lapta after the operation carried out by the police. It has been announced in the police bulletin that 2 people are arrested within the framework of the investigation made.
Turkish Cypriot producers attend the Gulfood Fair in Dubai
Gulfood 2015 also known as Gulfood Exhibition, will be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on 08-12 February 2015 in Dubai World Trade Centre. Nine Turkish Cypriot companies will attend the “Gulfood 2015 Food and Beverage Fair” which is the world’s greatest food fair, under the umbrella of Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry (TCCI) and with the brand “North Cyprus”.
According to the information obtained from TCCI, the companies producing hellim and dairy products, coffee, carob, chicken, sesame oil and halva will take place at the TRNC stand.
More than 5.000 companies from 120 countries have stands in Gulfood 2015 Food Fair. Various conferences and seminars concerning food and competitions for food preparation will be organized during the 5 day-fair. The fair will end on 12 February 2015.
Güzelyurt Cultural Heritage Memorial Association mounts 3 fountains which belonged to the British era
Güzelyurt Cultural Heritage Memorial Association announced that 3 idle fountains which belonged to the British era are mounted in Güzelyurt.
In the written statement of Deputy Chairman of the Association, it is stated that there are emblems of “GR and ER” on the fountains and two of them are mounted at the parking place of Güzelyurt Archaeology and Nature Museum and one of them is mounted in the garden of Civil Defense Organization in Güzelyurt.
Historical Derviş Pasa Mansion will be restored
Derviş Paşa Mansion, which was built at the beginning of 19th Century by Ottomans and put into service as Ethnography Museum after been restored in 1986, is going to be restored again.
Derviş Paşa Mansion is located at Beliğ Paşa Street at Arabahmet Quarter of Lefkosa.
To read more news and information from the TRNC Ministry of Foreign Affairs, please click here