A lunch party in South Nicosia comprising 35 ambassadors and other diplomats were told that if the Turkish Cypriots wanted to ensure that they receive their share of the profits from hydrocarbons found offshore Cyprus, then a solution to the Cyprus problem had to be found.
Greek Cypriot main opposition leader of AKEL Andros Kyprianou referred to the failure of the last round of Cyprus talks at Crans-Montana last July. His party fully agreed with the UN Secretary-General’s suggestion of tackling a package of six main issues still pending, he said.
“Akel fully agrees with the above approach, not only because the secretary-general suggests it, but because we are firmly convinced that, at the point we have reached, this is the right course to reach a successful end, even in a short time,” Kyprianou said.
At the same time, he noted that “it is not acceptable to expect the Greek Cypriot side to accept the upgrading of the pseudo-state in the event of [another] failure.
“We are well aware that Turkey is playing a role in the region’s energy map and that Turkish Cypriots want their share of the exploitation of natural gas,” Kyprianou said. “The simplest and surest way to achieve this is the solution of the Cyprus problem.”
As for Turkey, he said, Akel was not opposed to discussing its role, “but of course this must not be detrimental to the interests of [South] Cyprus.
“As AKEL we are ready, in the event of a solution, to support the opening of talks with Turkey on the construction of a pipeline, both for its own use and for transporting natural gas to Europe,” he added.
Kyprianou also said AKEL supported Turkey’s EU accession but that Ankara had much work to do in order to fulfil its EU obligations.