President of the Republic Nikos Christodoulides has said that the Republic of Cyprus  immediately issued an anti-Navtex in response to Turkey’s action to issue a Navtex for a maritime area that falls within the Republic of Cyprus’ jurisdiction, adding that such actions do not help resume negotiations on the Cyprus issue.

“We have responded by issuing an anti-Navtex as it concerns an area that falls within the Republic of Cyprus jurisdiction and we always react within this context”, the President said replying to a journalist’s question after the annual memorial service for EOKA hero, Gregoris Afxentiou.

Asked if these actions help resume the Cyprus talks, he said “definitely not” and added that “this is a usual tactic by Turkey, I’m not underestimating it, and that’s why we reacted immediately.”

Meanwhile, the President was also asked whether some people can pass through the crossing points from the Turkish occupied areas to the government controlled areas of the Republic regardless of whether they have come to the island illegally. “No”, he replied, saying that controls are being carried out and that the systems of both the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Justice have now been unified.

“It was a weakness that existed and a relevant decision was taken recently by the Council of Ministers,” he concluded.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results.

The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres appointed María Ángela Holguín Cuéllar of Colombia as his personal envoy for Cyprus, to assume a Good Offices role on his behalf and search for common ground on the way forward in the Cyprus issue. 

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