With Egyptian President on his side, Greek Cypriot leader accuses Turkey
CAIRO - Agence France-Presse
In this photo provided by Egypt's state news agency MENA, Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades (from left), Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras shake hands to pose for photos after a press conference in Cairo, Egypt, Nov. 8, 2014. AP Photo/MENA, Mohammed Abd el-MoatyGreek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades on Nov. 8 accused Turkey of "provocative actions" that he said are hindering the island’s peace talks and compromising security in the eastern Mediterranean.
Last month Greek Cyprus suspended its participation in UN-led peace talks with Turkey amid tensions over Ankara’s determination to search for oil and gas in the same region where the Greek Cypriot government has licensed exploratory drills in an exclusive economic zone.
"Turkey’s provocative actions do not just compromise the peace talks, but also affect security in the eastern Mediterranean region," Anastasiades said during a visit to Cairo.
"For the (peace) negotiations to succeed Turkey needs to show positive intention and adopt a constructive stance through positive and effective steps in this direction," he said, according to a translation.
The Greek Cypriot leader was speaking at a joint news conference in Cairo with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.
Since Oct. 20 a Turkish survey vessel has encroached Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone off the island’s southern coast, according to Nicosia.
Ankara had issued a notice that a Turkish seismic vessel would carry out a survey until Dec. 30 in the same area where the Italian-Korean energy consortium ENI-Kogas is operating.
Ankara opposes the Cypriot government’s exploitation of offshore energy reserves before a deal is reached to solve the decades-long division of the east Mediterranean island.
Anastasiades, Samaras and Sisi were at a summit in Cairo on Nov. 8 to discuss regional security and economic cooperation.