President Nicos Anastasiades on Sunday officially received his Turkish Cypriot counterpart President Mustafa Akıncı’s proposal for the joint use of hydrocarbon resources with the Greek Cypriot side.
In the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey has clashed with South Cyprus and Greece over the potentially rich hydrocarbon reserves in the region. Ankara says the Turkish Cypriots have a right to a share in the reserves, while the South says any proceeds from gas drilling will be shared fairly after a solution to the Cyprus problem is found.
Currently, two Turkish drillships, accompanied by navy vessels, are anchored in areas around Cyprus, where they are exploring for hydrocarbons in defiance of their neighbours and the European Union.
Anastasiades has requested a meeting with Greek Cypriot political party leaders on July 16 where he will inform leaders about Akinci’s proposal, according to Cyprus Mail.
Akıncı’s proposal aims at creating a cooperation mechanism between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots, as the co-owners of the Island on hydrocarbon resources over which they have equal rights.
Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Sunday that Turkey will continue drilling offshore the island until the Greek Cypriot government accepts the Turkish Cypriot leader’s proposal.
Cyprus is split between the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus following Turkey’s military intervention 1974. Turkey does not diplomatically recognise the Republic of Cyprus in the southern part of the island and is the only country to recognise the Turkish Cypriot republic. Talks on reunifying Cyprus broke down in July last year.