Foreign Ministry: Requests a stronger reaction from the international community for Rizokarpasos

There can be neither normalization nor statistics of human rights violations


There can be neither normalization nor statistics of human rights violations, stated on Thursday the Minister of Foreign Affairs Kostantinos Kombos, on the occasion of a recent incident of raid on a school in Rizokarpasos by the occupying authorities.

He also pointed out that the international community, the European Union and all the competent organizations that deal with human rights are not enough to simply have a rhetoric and a discussion about the necessity of protecting rights, underlining that "one expects a stronger reaction".

He added that all the necessary actions have been taken and will continue to be taken with the necessary intensity towards permanent and non-permanent members of the Security Council, in Geneva where the Human Rights Council is based, and in Brussels and UNFICYP as well as wherever there is institutional responsibility on the part of the international actor.

Speaking to media representatives after the end of his meeting with the Speaker of the National Assembly of Slovenia Urška Klakočar Zupančič, Mr. Kobos said that a number of issues of common interest were discussed during the meeting, adding that due to Slovenia's current term as a non-permanent member of UN Security Council, the discussion also turned to the Cyprus issue.

He added that they also discussed regional issues, mainly the situation in Gaza, with the Cypriot side informing about its contacts in the region, and that they will remain in touch on all issues.

Asked about the recent aggressive rhetoric of the occupying regime following the attack on a school in Rizokarpasos, Mr. Kombos said that unfortunately the occupying regime chose to target the trapped and especially the children and the right to education, due to the recent presence of of the Minister of Education and the Cypriot MEPs to the competent committee of the European Parliament, adding that apparently the truth bothered him.

"Our message is that there can be neither normalization nor statisticalization of human rights violations. These should be reported when they happen and the international community should react to them. If one thinks that through such a methodology and practice one will be able to demonstrate the existence of an entity, this is unacceptable and reprehensible. The Republic of Cyprus is taking all the necessary steps in this direction," he said.

He added that he raised the issue during the recent high-level session of the Human Rights Council held in Geneva, both in his speech and in a one-on-one meeting with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

"It's not just another incident, it's an indication of an approach that can in no way be considered normal or accepted," he noted.

Commenting that there should be more reaction from the international community, the Foreign Minister said there is a wider perception that over time the issue is about a "frozen" conflict with no real developments on the ground.

"Our response to this is that there is a daily violation of rights and that this is a very specific example, and the international community, the European Union and all the relevant organizations that deal with human rights is not enough to just have a rhetoric and a discussion of the need to protect rights. Where there is a clear violation, as indeed a policy has been formulated, one expects a stronger reaction. We will continue to highlight the issue and we will continue to ask for this reaction", he added on the matter.

In response to a question about specific steps taken by the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Kombos said that these are issues that arise on a daily basis as a result of the Turkish invasion, adding that all the necessary actions have been taken and will continue to be taken with the necessary intensity both to permanent and non-permanent members of the Security Council, both in Geneva where the Human Rights Council has its headquarters, as well as in Brussels and UNFICYP and wherever there is institutional responsibility from the international factor.

"It is not just a record of an incident. It is an unacceptable action against the most basic, fundamental right to education and it concerns children," he stressed.

Asked about reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar is visiting Berlin in March to promote the pseudo-state's positions on the Cyprus issue, the Foreign Minister said there is information that several such visits are being planned, adding that we should be especially careful and to see how these visits will be carried out, whether they are in the context of an official or unofficial visit and how they are presented.

He added that the KD emphasizes on a daily basis the lack of legitimacy on the other side and that there is no representation of any entity that has any relationship with a state entity, using all the available network to promote this message.

He also said that all the necessary actions are being taken, which are sometimes of a preventive nature, some during such a visit or afterwards, depending on the case, taking into account at the same time that there is not the same possibility of influence everywhere. due to objective difficulties.

Asked if he was informed during the meeting he had in Geneva with his Egyptian counterpart about details of the Turkish President's recent visit to the country and about a possible risk of violating the maritime zone demarcation agreements between Cyprus and Egypt, Mr. Kombos said that there are clear indications and messages, starting with the recent visit of the Egyptian Foreign Minister to Cyprus, which took place before the Turkish President's visit to Cairo and at a time with a very busy schedule.

He pointed out that in all his meetings with his Egyptian counterpart, how Egypt sees this "attack" of Turkey's friendship was discussed, noting that Cyprus has confidence in Egypt's attitude and the strategic relationship that both sides have formed with large tries.

"We are convinced of the maritime corridor"

Asked to comment on recent statements by US President Joe Biden, in which he expressed hope for a cease-fire in Gaza within days, and whether the KD is ready to proceed with the provision of humanitarian aid, the Secretary of State said that they are ongoing various efforts regarding either a ceasefire or in combination with the release of hostages, adding that the next day and formulating a plan for a two-state solution is also part of the discussion.

He also said that there are changes in the Palestinian Authority and other developments, with humanitarian aid being part of this difficult issue, and the international community agreeing that the current level of humanitarian aid inflows is by no means satisfactory, now looking at available options.

"These choices are very specific and part of these choices was and is our own initiative, which is being discussed at a very high level in all the different efforts that are being made in terms of the humanitarian part," emphasized Mr. Kombos, adding that any developments in Rafah and the collapse of the effort for a ceasefire or for the release of hostages will affect the wider climate for the promotion or not of humanitarian aid.

He also noted that Ramadan begins on March 10, during which there may be other challenges, as other incidents have taken place during this period and in the past, adding that Cyprus is in discussions and considers itself convinced of its usefulness corridor, there are still pending issues of delivery, reception and distribution of aid, for which there is consultation with the US, the UN and other important countries in the region.

"We made an effort that when we started it we were alone, when we formed it we faced an incredible negative reaction from within, an impatience that it had to follow the schedule that some others had in their minds ignoring the reality, and they are waiting to see if it will be able to to be implemented or not. The CD has made a huge effort, which has been appreciated by those who perceive its usefulness, which produces for us the necessary useful capital that we so badly need in a number of other issues that concern us", he concluded.

Source: KYPE