The National Council, the top advisory body to the President on the Cyprus issue, on Saturday agreed that the Turkish provocations in Cyprus` exclusive economic zone hinder efforts for the resumption of the peace talks, under the UN aegis.

The Council convened in the morning and issued an unanimous announcement it which it condemns Turkey`s illegal activities.

Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou read the announcement to the press pointing out that the Council has condemned the flagrant violation of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkey in the island`s EEZ and all other illegal activities by Turkey that violate the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic.

The National Council urgently calls for the immediate termination of all Turkish acts and threats of violence, in order to reduce tension and show respect for peace and security in the Eastern Mediterranean.

It also underlines the importance of solidarity with the Republic of Cyprus on behalf of the European Union and the international community.

Moreover the National Council reaffirms its commitment to the peaceful solution of the Cyprus problem through the United Nations procedures and points out that the Turkish actions undermine and hamper these efforts. Prodromou said that the National Council stresses that without termination of Turkey`s unlawful actions, there can be no favourable prospects to continue efforts for a resumption of the Cyprus talks.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Ankara issued recently a navigational telex, announcing its intention to start drilling off Cyprus until September 3. The Turkish drill ship “Fatih”, accompanied by three service ships, is located almost 40 nautical miles west of the Akamas peninsula and 83 nautical miles from the Turkish coast. The area falls within the EEZ and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus.

The latest round of UN-backed talks took place in the summer of 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans Montana but ended without yielding results. The talks aim at reuting the island under a federal roof.

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