UN ad­viser: Turk­ish ship thwart­ing peace ef­forts

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

On a light­ning visit to Athens yes­ter­day, the United Na­tions me­di­a­tor for the Cyprus prob­lem, Espen Barth Eide, said the pres­ence of a Turk­ish seis­mic ves­sel off the is­land’s coast was ham­per­ing the re­sump­tion of stalled peace talks and fu­el­ing ten­sions.

“What’s hap­pen­ing now is ac­tu­ally quite dan­ger­ous and I en­cour­age ev­ery­one to do their best to avoid any kind of fur­ther es­ca­la­tion,” Eide said after talks with For­eign Min­is­ter Evan­ge­los Venizelos. He high­lighted the need “to cre­ate the right con­di­tions.” “That has to do with sev­eral fac­tors and the pres­ence of the Bar­baros is one of those fac­tors,” he said, re­fer­ring to the Turk­ish ves­sel. Venizelos re­ferred to “provoca­tive ac­tions on the part of Turkey, which openly ques­tions the sov­er­eign rights and even the very ex­is­tence of the Repub­lic of Cyprus.”

Mean­while, on a visit to Nicosia, Is­raeli For­eign Min­is­ter Avig­dor Lieber­man also prod­ded Turkey, say­ing it should re­spect Cyprus’s right to ex­plore for nat­u­ral gas and de­scrib­ing ac­tions that fuel ten­sions as “ex­tremely un­nec­es­sary.”

Prime Min­is­ter An­to­nis Sa­ma­ras is due in Nicosia to­day to un­der­line Greek support for Cyprus be­fore his sched­uled par­tic­i­pa­tion on Satur­day in a sum­mit in Cairo with Cyprus Pres­i­dent Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades and Egyp­tian Pres­i­dent Ab­del Fattah Said el-Sisi.

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