Eroglu writes to Biden about stalled talks

The President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Dervis Eroglu, has sent a letter to US Vice President Joe Biden, urging him to convince the Greek-Cypriot leader, Nicos Anastasiades, to resume negotiations, ‘World Bulletin’ reports.

According to a statement issued by the president’s office on Monday, Eroglu called on the Greek-Cypriot side to return to the negotiating table without preconditions.

The letter comes after the Greek-Cypriot administration suspended talks in October in retaliation for Turkey’s deployment of a naval frigate to monitor oil-and-gas exploration activity off the South Cyprus coast.

Eroglu termed the tension in the region as artificial, which served the Greek-Cypriot administration’s political aims.

“The Turkish Navy vessels are in international waters,” Eroglu said in the letter.

Turkey and the Turkish-Cypriot government have strongly opposed any unilateral move by the Greek-Cypriot administration to explore any hydrocarbon resources around the island, saying that its natural resources should be exploited in a fair manner under a united Cyprus.

Negotiations between Turkish and Greek Cypriots resumed after a two-year pause in February 2013. The previous round of talks collapsed partly because of the Eurozone debt crisis impact on the government in Lefkosa.

However, the Greek-Cypriot administration suspended the most recent talks on 7th October after Turkey sent a ship to monitor an oil-and-gas exploration mission off the Cyprus coast.

Meanwhile, ‘Famagusta Gazette’ reports that Biden will hold talks in Turkey on Friday with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and a number of nongovernmental representatives.

The Vice President’s agenda is not clear, but it is expected that Cyprus will be discussed.

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