Cyprus Peace Process Roundup

Cyprus: EU opposes peace deal giving Turks key freedoms: “European Union member states have rejected Turkey’s demand that its citizens be granted the freedom to relocate and transfer money, services and goods to EU member Cyprus under any deal reunifying the ethnically divided island, the Cypriot president said Saturday. Nicos Anastasiades said all EU leaders consider it a “bad precedent” for Cyprus or any other country to breach bloc rules and grant such key freedoms to third-country citizens. “This matter concerns the whole of the European Union, not just Cyprus,” Anastasiades said.” [AP]

Cyprus protests Turkish violations of Nicosia’s FIR to UN: “The Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the United Nations Kornelios Korneliou has strongly protested the infringements of international air traffic regulations and violations of the national airspace of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkey and the illegal use of closed ports by Turkish warships during the month of January 2017. In a letter dated February 23, 2017, addressed to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, he also protested the systematic use of the illegal airport in Turkish occupied Tymbou village by Turkish commercial aircraft. The letter- which includes two annexes that report analytically all Turkish violations — has been circulated as an official document of the UN Security Council and UN General Assembly under agenda item 41.” [SigmaLive]

Turkey referendum affecting peace talks: Cyprus President: “Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades accused rival Turkish Cypriots on Wednesday of seeking a pretext to stall peace talks to avoid an overlap with Turkey’s constitutional referendum next month. Greek and Turkish Cypriots had been making steady progress in the talks, widely seen as the best opportunity in decades to end the ethnic partition of the Mediterranean island, but they hit a snag in February. “It would have been more honest for (Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci) to have said it’s best to suspend negotiations until the referendum is over,” Anastasiades told Greece’s Skai TV in a television interview.” [Reuters]

Cyprus keep close eye on new Turkish seismic vessel, again: “CYPRUS is keeping a close eye on Turkey after it was announced that a vessel will start to search for oil and natural gas on behalf of Ankara next week. The Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat Albayrak said that they will conduct ‘sounding work’ in the framework of oil and natural gas exploration activities.” [Famagusta Gazette]

Stalled talks not derailing energy plans, government insists: “Cyprus’ energy plans are on track and news of developments is expected soon, the government spokesman said on Monday. “All is proceeding as planned and there is absolutely no change in the plans of the Republic…announcements regarding to the implementation of our energy plans should be expected within the next week,” Nicos Christodoulides told the state broadcaster.” [Cyprus Mail]