TRNC News Today 13th February 2015
Foreign Minister Nami: “What is needed is cooperation, not diplomatic warfare”
Expressing that the Turkish Cypriot side is not interested in interim solutions and that the aim is to reach a comprehensive settlement, Foreign Minister – Özdil Nami called on the Greek Cypriot side to avoid diplomatic warfare. Minister Nami emphasized that instead of diplomatic warfare, what the communities need is cooperation.
In his response to recent speeches made before the Parliamentary General Assembly, Foreign Minister Özdil Nami indicated that the Ministry of Foreign affairs is closely following the developments pertaining to the Cyprus issue and putting the appropriate responses forward.
Minister Nami also referred to the fact that the necessary responses were given to the numerous demands of the Greek Cypriot side, which resulted in a more balanced approach adopted by the Security Council, as well as a balanced report.
Stating that while the Report of the UN Secretary-General mentions the inhuman embargos imposed on the Turkish Cypriots, it is a “great shame” that the Security Council Resolution did not include any mention of it, Minister Nami added that the work of the Ministry is ongoing to remedy this situation.
Minister Nami assessed the visit of the Prime Minister of Greece to South Cyprus as a missed opportunity and stated that Greece should make a positive contribution to the resolution of the Cyprus problem, although such a contribution has yet to be seen.
Stating that the Defence Minister of Greece is continuously making negative statements, Nami criticized his statement that “they will conduct joint military exercises”, underlining that the Defence Minister of Greece is acting like a war-monger.
“Joint military exercises have long been suspended. The Greek Cypriot-Greek duo should also refrain from joint exercises” Nami added.
Describing the withdrawal of the Greek Cypriot side from the negotiation table with the issuance of the Navtex as unacceptable, Minister Nami stated “It could be one approach for both sides to suspend their activities. Balance is crucial. If they take a step, the Turkish Cypriot side will take a step. We want the leaders to resume the negotiations. The Turkish Cypriot leader has not left the table. If the Greek Cypriot leader returns to the table without any preconditions, the Turkish Cypriot side will also be there. Our call to the Greek Cypriot leader is to stop placing preconditions, to speak the facts, and to abandon one-sided sovereignty”.
Reiterating that the aim of the Turkish Cypriot side is to reach a comprehensive settlement and the Turkish Cypriot side is not interested in temporary solutions, Minister Nami called upon the Greek Cypriot side to avoid diplomatic warfare on issues such as the Navtex or hellim/halloumi, and emphasized once again that the two communities are in need of cooperation.
Minister Nami emphasized that reaching a settlement will not be possible as long as the Greek Cypriot side does not abandon its dominant stance.
Delegation of Chamber of Mines, Metallurgy and Geology Engineers visits Minister Nami
Foreign Minister Özdil Nami today received officials of the Chamber of Mines, Metallurgy and Geology Engineers under the Chairmanship of Mr Birol Karaman.
During the meeting, possible conferences and activities that can be organized in the TRNC on the natural gas and hydrocarbons issues were discussed.
Furthermore, it was agreed at the meeting to engage in cooperation on the activities the Turkish Cypriots can undertake on these issues, as well as the steps that can be taken for these activities to be brought to the attention of the world.
United States Department of Defense: “We are aware of Russia’s pressure on having naval and air bases in Cyprus”
Hillman answered the questions of AA reporter on Russia’s attempts to establish military bases in South Cyprus.
Stating that there has been long-term military, economic and cultural relationship between Russia and South Cyprus, Hillman said: “We are aware of the fact that Russia is exerting pressure on South Cyprus to open its air and naval bases. If there will be anything new about the relationship, we are going to evaluate this.”
Arınç: “North Cyprus is important for us”
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said: “North Cyprus is important for us. We are supporting North Cyprus’ progress in economic, social and political approaches and we will continue to do so in the future.”
Within the framework of his contacts Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç met with President Eroğlu, Prime Minister Özkan Yorgancıoğlu and Speaker of the Assembly Sibel Siber.
Stating that it is a business visit, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said that he had participated in the ground-breaking ceremony in Ercan Airport right before the meeting.
New Investment at Ercan Airport
The ground-breaking ceremony was held for the new investments at privatized Ercan Airport with the participation of President Eroğlu and Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç.
With this project, which is aimed to reach a capacity of 10 million-passengers, the old runway will be extended to 3.2 km and also a new runway will be built.
Within the framework of the project, a closed parking area for 1500 cars and an open parking area for 1500 cars as well as VIP and CIP will be situated in the new runway.
By constructing new buildings in the new runway, employment opportunity for about 2,500 people will be created.
It is forecasted that this project will be finished in 48 months and approximately 220 million euros will be invested.
German State Minister Roth warns Greek Side
German State Minister Michael Roth said that they are spending efforts on activating the EU accession process of Turkey and opening of new chapters. In his visit to Turkey Roth indicated that they regard themselves as a friend of Turkey and said “Turkey’s friend means EU perspective.” We spent efforts on activating the EU accession process of Turkey and opening new chapters. Recording that the Greek Cypriot side is a tough partner; Roth indicated that a very upsetting situation will arise if the Greek Cypriot side tries to prevent the opening of new chapters.
Bozkır: “If it is acknowledged that natural gas in Cyprus belongs to the whole island, it will be possible to recall Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa Vessel”
Turkish Minister for EU Affairs and the Chief Negotiator – Volkan Bozkır stated that if it is acknowledged that natural gas in Cyprus belongs to the whole island, it will be possible to recall Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa Vessel.
Stating that parameters of the Cyprus issue have been compromised Bozkır said that a solution of the Cyprus issue is easier than a solution of the issues in Syria, Ukraine and Palestine.
In his press statement after meeting with EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, Bozkır said:
“The key point is the enrolment that the so-called natural gas reserves in Cyprus belong to the whole island. If it is acknowledged that the natural gas in Cyprus belongs to the whole island, it will be possible to recall Barbaros Hayrettin Paşa vessel. We think that it is not such a tough issue. We hope that in the near future our suggestions will be accepted by Greece and South Cyprus.”
TRNC is 76th in the ‘2015 World Press Freedom Index’ of ‘Reporters without Borders’
Northern Cyprus has become the 76th country among 180 countries in the ‘2015 World Press Freedom Index’ of ‘Reporters without Borders’ organization.
Being 83th in 2014, this year Northern Cyprus advanced 7 rows and became 76th with 28.33 points.
Greece National Defense Minister: “Buy warplanes and deploy them on Rhodes or Crete”
Under the headline ‘Suggested to buy warplanes’, Politis newspaper reported : “According to our trusted sources, among many other things, Kammenos proposed Cyprus Republic to buy war planes and deploy them on Rhodes or Crete for safety measures.
15 year imprisonment sentence to Mihailidis and his son
It is reported that Dinos Mihailidis and his son Mihalis Mihailidis, who are rumoured to be involved in the scandal of buying TOR-M1’s from Russia, are now sentenced to 15 years imprisonment by the Athens High Criminal Court.
Greek newspaper Politis reported that since Dinos Mihailidis is 70 years old, he will be a prisoner for two fifths of his sentence (5 years 7 months) and Fuad Al Zayiad, who is a close friend to Mihailidis and also involved in this scandal, is sentenced to a lifetime imprisonment. In the news, it is recorded that Zayiad escaped from the Greek Cypriot police before captured and he is believed to be in Lebanon.
Cyprus Mail – 13/2/2015
Our View: Time to move on from defending the defence dogma
IT SEEMS that Greece’s defence ministers cannot resist the temptation to serve up patriotic slogans and big promises when they visit Cyprus. Perhaps they consider it their national duty to boost the morale of Greek Cypriots with a few important sounding, but ultimately meaningless phrases. After all, talk and good intentions cost nothing and none of the hosts would be so rude as to question the words of the Minister.
Greece’s new Defence Minister Panos Kammenos honoured this long and proud tradition during his two-day visit to the island. He may belong to a left-wing government, but Kammenos is the leader of Syriza’s junior coalition partners, the right-wing Independent Greeks who take a tough line on national matters. During the joint news conference he gave with his Cypriot counterpart Christoforos Fokaides, Kammenos said Greece planned to boost defence co-operation with Cyprus and repeated the slogan uttered by most Defence Ministers – “Greece is here”.
The “defensive shield of Hellenism” extended from Thrace, through the Aegean Sea to Cyprus, he said. After condemning Turkey’s violations of the Cyprus EEZ, which was a “clear provocation”, Kammenos said: “We want peace, but we are ready to respond, if necessary, to any attempt to infringe on the national sovereignty or territorial integrity of the wider defence area of Greece and Cyprus.”
He chose his words carefully, in the sense that, states have no national sovereignty over their EEZ, indicating Greece would not be responding when the Barbaros next sailed into the Cypriot EEZ. However, could anyone take seriously assurances about defending the “wider defence area of Greece and Cyprus”?
Greece, given its economic problems that have also affected the armed forces, should be happy to be able to protect its own defence area without having to worry about that of Cyprus. The distance between the two countries made this a difficult, if not impossible, task even at times of economic boom.
At least Kammenos stopped short of resurrecting the Unified Defence Dogma between Cyprus and Greece that came into being in the mid-90s amid much fanfare, but remained nothing more than a theoretical concept until its demise a few years later. He fudged the issue when asked about it at a news conference, saying there would be rearrangement of relations through practical co-operation. Perhaps he felt he had to say something as he had been asked.
It is a pity that the Defence Minister of every Greek government feels obliged to repeat the same hackneyed and, ultimately, meaningless defence rhetoric as soon as he sets foot in Cyprus. We wonder if, after all these years, anyone still believes these platitudes.
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