‘Barbaros’ leaves Cypriot waters. Peace talks set to resume

Barbaros 'leaves' Cypriot waters. Peace talks set to resume

Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots look set to resume peace talks, cancelled in October last year, after Nicos Anastasiades, the president of Cyprus said he would not take part in any negotiations with the Turkish side, as long as Turkey violates sovereign rights of Cyprus. He was referring to Turkey’s deployment of the Barbaros Hayreddin Pasa seismic vessel in Cypriot waters.

However, in late March this year, Turkey removed the seismic vessel from the Cypriot waters.   To remind, the Turkish Cypriots’ foreign ministry had said that the deployment of the Turkish seismic vessel was a response to the Greek Cypriot Administration (GCA) unilateral drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, where the Eni/KOGAS consortium was operating the Saipem 10.000 drillship, searching for natural gas.  The drillship recently left the area after two failed attempts to unearth natural gas.

The Cyprus government spokesman Nikos Christodoulides yesterday said that “the President of the Republic [Nicos Anastasiades] today had a meeting with the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide. During the meeting, Mr Eide conveyed a message to the President of the Republic from Turkey that following the withdrawal of the ‘Barbaros’ vessel, Turkey will not proceed with the renewal of the NAVTEX and that it will support the resumption of a substantive dialogue on the Cyprus problem.”

Talks set to resume

The spokesman added: “In view of these facts, and taking into consideration our strong desire for a solution to the Cyprus problem at the earliest possible, our side is ready to withdraw its decision for the suspension of its participation in the negotiating process with the aim, through a substantive and sincere dialogue on the basis of the Joint Communique and away from threatsand intimidations, to create those prospects that will allow the solution of the Cyprus problem.”

The Special Adviser of the Secretary General on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide in a separate statement called all Cypriots to realize that “this is a decisive moment, not only for political leaders, but also for everybody living on this island.”

Espen Barth Eide said: “Having come to know a lot of people in the time I have been in this role, I feel that while some Cypriots believe that their problems are other Cypriots, I think that’s fundamentally wrong.

The problem Cypriots share is the absence of a settlement which is one of the reasons why a lot of young people leave the island, why investments that could have happened are not happening, why the benefits of economy of scale cannot be reached to their full potential, and why it has been very difficult to prepare for this hydrocarbons phase of Cyprus history.”

When it comes to a date of the resumption of the peace talks, Eide said he didn’t have the exact date due to elections presidential elections to be held in Northern Cyprus on April 19, 2015.

He said: “The main reasons we don’t have a date is that we do not know the outcomes of the election in the north, but as soon as we know we will of course reach out to whoever is the Turkish Cypriot leader, and quickly agree on the date, but I’m thinking of something within weeks – not months – from now and also from the date when elections start over.”

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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