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The outgoing Foreign Minister of Cyprus criticized the UN and compared the organization with Pontius Pilate

The outgoing Foreign Minister of Cyprus criticized the UN and compared the organization with Pontius Pilate

22.02.2018
Tags: Cyprus, Politics, UN, Mediterranean, Turkey, Ministers, Cyprus Question

Outgoing from politics 69-year-old Foreign Minister of the Republic of Ioannis Kasoulidis decided not to restrain himself. Finally, he told in an interview to Cyprus NewsAgency what he thinks about the situation when Turkish military ships have blocked the drilling platform hired by the Italian company Eni for research on the Cyprus shelf for almost two weeks, and the world community does not go beyond on-duty applications. The United Nations and the United Kingdom got both.

What's happening?

Since 9 February, the Turkish Navy has blocked the Saipem 12000 drilling platform at the site No.3 of the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Cyprus. The formal motive is "military exercises", but the true cause of the confrontation is Ankara's dissatisfaction with the oil and gas program of the Republic of Cyprus, which allegedly infringes on the rights of the Turkish Cypriots. First, the "exercises" were announced before 22 February, now their term is extended to 10 March. Due to Turkey's actions, Eni can not start geological exploration.

What are the immediate prospects?

On Friday, 23 February, the heads of state and government of 27 countries of the European Union will discuss Turkey's actions off the coast of Cyprus at an informal summit.

The President of Cyprus [Nikos] Anastassiadis asked to raise the issue of Turkey's actions in the territorial waters of Cyprus, Tass quotes an unnamed EU representative in Brussels.

What is the position of Anastasiadis?

  • Arrangements for the development of natural resources were reached during the meetings of Dimitris Christofias and Mehmet Talat. In the case of the unification of the island, these issues will be delegated to the federal government. This was confirmed during the recent rounds of negotiations, and Turkey has never disputed this clause of the agreements.
  • The Republic of Cyprus is conducting research to assess the possible hydrocarbon reserves that will be used for the benefit of all Cypriots.
  • The government has prepared a draft law on the creation of an independent fund, which will be channeled by the proceeds from the sale of hydrocarbons. The law on the foundation is based on the Norwegian model. The fund will be used for the current and next generations of the Cypriot people.

Nikos ANASTASIADIS, President of the Republic of Cyprus: "I would like to publicly urge Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot community to respond to my request to return to the negotiating table, provided that before that, violations of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus in its exclusive economic zone will be stopped."

What did Kasoulidis say?

In an interview with Cyprus News Agency, Ioannis Kasoulidis said that the Republic of Cyprus will develop further actions taking into account the results of the informal summit scheduled for 23 February.

Our next steps will depend on the reaction of the summit participants. You understand that we can not remain passive, "said the head of the Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Cyprus.

Kasulidis expressed disappointment with the UN's position on Turkey's actions on the south-eastern coast of Cyprus. According to him, it is a violation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea by the Turkish authorities.

The position of the UN press secretary, speaking on behalf of the Secretary General, is similar to the position of Pontius Pilate, "Ioannis Kasoulidis stated.

The Foreign Minister of Cyprus considers the position of Great Britain regarding Turkey's actions in the Eastern Mediterranean "completely unacceptable". Earlier, the Minister for European and American Affairs Sir Alan Duncan, in response to a request from representatives of the House of Commons, said that the Foreign Office "assesses the situation." This phrase, according to Kasulidis, looks "deplorable" against the backdrop of the fact that London has a special relationship with Nicosia.

Remind me who Pontius Pilate is!

Pontius Pilate is the Roman prefect of Judea at 26-36. His rule was marked by mass violence and executions. The tax and political oppression, Pontius Pilate's provocations, which offended the faith and customs of the Jews, provoked mass popular protests ruthlessly suppressed by the Romans. The philosopher Philo of Alexandria characterizes Pontius Pilate as "a cruel and corrupt tyrant." According to the New Testament, it was he who issued the death sentence to Jesus Christ. During the trial of Christ, Pilate performed a ritual ablution of hands as a sign of "non-involvement in the murder".


In the painting "Xie Man" by Antonio Chiseri (1891) Pontius Pilate shows the scourged Jesus Christ to the inhabitants of Jerusalem

Interview of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus Ioannis Kasoulidis (in Greek)

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