Greek Cypriot side ready for additional assurances on natural gas issue when peace talks enter final stage

The Greek Cypriot side is ready to provide the Turkish Cypriots with additional assurances as regards the proceeds from the natural gas found in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone when the peace talks under the UN aegis enter their final stage.

Cyprus News Agency has learned that President Nicos Anastasiades in a letter he sent to the UN and the EU, points out that he does not agree with bringing the issue of natural gas on the negotiating table, given that what should be done at this point is for the talks to be resumed for a solution.  But he goes on saying that in the final phase of the dialogue, the Greek Cypriot side may grant additional assurances to allay any worries and concerns the Turkish Cypriots might have especially about the profits.

Sources have said that if an informal conference is convened, the Greek Cypriot side will ask for  the resumption of negotiations for a solution and will claim references of the Guterres framework as a continuation of the negotiations where they left off.

According to the same sources, the informal conference could be held in New York in September following the UN General Assembly. Although the Greek Cypriot side has stated many times that Turkey must stop its illegal activities in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone for the talks to resume, the sources pointed out that President Nicos Anastasiades could participate in this informal meeting as it is seen as a similar consultation, he could have with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci and UNSG Envoy Jane Hall Lute to discuss the next steps forward.

Talks to reunite Cyprus under a federal roof took place in the Swiss resort of Crans Montana in the summer of 2017 but failed to yield any results.

Cyprus is divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

CNA – Nicosia 23/07/2019 17:15