Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades is expected to tell party leaders tomorrow that if the Turkish seismic vessel ‘Barbaros’ makes no further incursions into South Cyprus’ (EEZ), he will return to the talks, ‘Cyprus Mail’ reports.
The ‘Barbaros’ had been carrying out exploratory research in in waters offshore South Cyprus since last October, prompting Anastasiades to leave the negotiations. Turkey had issued a NAVTEX for the area until December 30th, following which, the ‘Barbaros’ was anchored off Famagusta Port.
The ‘Barbaros’ will remained anchored there waiting for further instructions, which depend on the efforts of UN Special Envoy Espen Barth Eide to get the talks going once more, current reports say.
CyBC’s radio correspondent refuted reports in Turkish Cypriot press that the ‘Barbaros’ would be dispatched for further research in the South’s EEZ on January 5th saying no decision has been made as to the seismic vessel’s next move. Eide has asked for the chance to resolve the crisis and reports say that Turkey will wait.
The state radio said that ‘Barbaros’ next orders will depend on what the Greek Cypriots do next with regards to new drilling efforts to be made by ENI-KOGAS in ‘Amathusa’ field in the next few day. It said that if Eide was successful, the Turkey’s seismic vessel would return to its home port; if not Turkey would issue another NAVTEX for further exploration by ‘Barbaros’ to begin.
‘Cyprus Mail’ goes on to say that official sources had told the paper that drilling operations had already begun and had been undisturbed. It added that the Greek Cypriot government was, in fact, waiting to see what Turkey did next as regards the ‘Barbaros’.
Following information that Turkey plans to deploy the ‘Barbaros’ on a previously planned submarine drill near the Greek island Kastelorizo off Turkey’s south-western shores from January 12th, the South Cyprus government is waiting to announce its readiness to return to the negotiations as soon as this information is verified.