UN advising on formula for equal share of Cyprus resources
Sevil Erkuş ANKARA
The U.N. Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide, arrives at the Turkish Prime Ministry before a meeting with PM Ahmet Davutoğlu, Oct. 28. AA PhotoThe U.N. Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide, is working on a formula for the sharing of income from the island’s natural resources, a Turkish diplomat has told the Hürriyet Daily News, referring to a recent meeting between Eide and Turkish politicians in Ankara on Oct. 28.
The diplomat did not go into details of the possible formula, but said Eide would have talks in Greece and in Cyprus in early November as part of efforts to resume peace talks on the divided island. Talks were suspended by Greek Cyprus on Oct. 7 in protest at gas exploration activities by Turkey off Cyprus.
In his talks in Ankara, the U.N. official stressed that despite the instability in the region, the Cyprus dispute is the most likely case to be resolved, so the parties must persist with the negotiations, according to the diplomat.
Greek Cyprus suspended its participation in the U.N.-led negotiations after Turkey dispatched a survey boat to an area where the Greek Cypriot government had licensed exploratory drilling for oil and gas.
Nicosia is unhappy that Turkey is searching for oil and gas in the same region where the Cypriot government has already licensed exploratory drills in an exclusive economic zone.
However, Ankara disputes Greek Cyprus’ rights to a swathe of sea to the island’s south and southeast that are rich in natural gas reserves, demanding an equal share of resources between the two governments of the island.
Meanwhile, a written statement after a Turkish National Security Council (MGK) meeting late on Oct. 30 vowed that Turkey would continue to protect its rights and interests in its continental shelf in the Aegean Sea and Eastern Mediterranean, and in the economic zone licensed by Turkish Cyprus.