Cyprus Peace Process Roundup

Cyprus: Turkey’s gas search ‘threats’ could sink peace talks: “The spokesman for Cyprus’ government says Turkey’s “threats” to prevent oil and gas exploration off the ethnically divided island could be designed to scuttle ongoing reunification talks. Spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said Monday that Turkey’s actions were further hampering peace talks that are being held in a climate that “essentially can’t produce results.” [Associated Press]

Tsipras tells Erdogan Cyprus talks must be protected in order to succeed: “Negotiations on the Cyprus problem must be protected in order to succeed, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during their meeting in China. A Cypriot government source, who spoke to CNA after being informed by the Greek government, said that the Greek Prime Minister underlined his support to the Cyprus talks and noted that they have to be protected in order to succeed.” [Famagusta Gazette]

Cyprus President to send letter to UN Secretary General: “Deputy Government Spokesman, Victor Papadopoulos has confirmed that President Nicos Anastasiades is writing a letter addressed to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. He recalled that the President, in his statements yesterday was clear about its content. The letter, he explained, would outlined to the UN Secretary-General Turkey’s provocations, at a time when everyone expects from the Turkish side to contribute to the UN-led peace talks with political will and goodwill in order to find a solution to the Cyprus problem. “It is unacceptable, as peace talks continue, to see Turkey applying such blackmailing and threatening moves,” he noted.” [Famagusta Gazette]

Nicosia tells UN chief Ankara is disrupting talks: “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]

Turkey closes in with air drills and EEZ surveys: “Over the coming weeks, Turkey will be conducting a series of drills that constitute violations of Cyprus’ airspace. Turkey has issued three Notams (Notice to Airmen) reserving airspace off the island for later this month. A Notam is a notice filed with an aviation authority to alert aircraft pilots of potential hazards along a flight route or at a location that could affect the safety of the flight.” [Cyprus Mail]

GC petition to remove flag on Pendadaktylos upsets some TCs: “A Turkish Cypriot association which lobbied to light up the ‘TRNC’ flag on Pentadaktylos mountains in 2003, is disappointed over a Greek Cypriot petition which began on May 4, aiming to collect signatures for removal of the Turkish flag from the same place.” [Cyprus Mail]

Cyprus Church regains three icons stolen from Turkish occupied churches: “The Church of Cyprus has regained three religious icons dating from the 18th and the 19th centuries, which were stolen from churches in the northern occupied area of the island after the Turkish invasion of 1974. The three icons, depicting the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple and the Pentecost, both dated 19th century and Apostle James dated 18th century were discovered last April at an auction house in Düsseldorf, Germany, a Church of Cyprus press release says.” [Famagusta Gazette]

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