Cyprus president: No peace talks with Turkish vessels in our waters

Nicos Anastasiades, the president of Cyprus has said he will not take part in any negotiations with Turkey, as long as Turkey violates sovereign rights of Cyprus. He was referring to the Turkish seismic vessel, Barbaros Hayreddin Pasa conducting surveys in Cypriot waters.

To remind, Anastasiades in October accused Turkey of trying to undermine the ethnically divided island’s sovereign offshore gas exploration plans, by deploying its ships in the area where the companies authorized by the internationally recognized Cypriot government were drilling for natural gas.

In a statement in October, Anastasiades said he was suspending the reunification talks between the two sides. To remind, the reunification talks began in early 2014.

Anastasiades, in a written note issued on Monday, January 5, 2015, said: “As long as the violation of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus continues it is impossible for me to participate in the established negotiations for the solution of the Cyprus problem.”

The European Parliament has also condemned the actions taken by the Turkish side, calling on Turkey to stop its ‘provocative actions’ and ‘threats’ against the Republic of Cyprus, and to remove its vessels operating in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone. In a resolution brought by the European Parliament in November last year, the members of the EU Parliament said that Turkey’s action could have a negative impact on Turkey’s relations with the EU.

Foreign Ministry of Turkish Republic on Northern Cyprus, a state only recognized by Turkey, described the EU Parliament’s resolution as unrealistic, saying the resolution would increase tension and mistrust between the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots.

The Northern Cyprus government, which has given the right to the Turkish TPAO to conduct surveys in Cypriot waters, in November called president Anastasiades to “cease blame-games and return to the negotiation table so that a lasting and comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus problem can be found at once.”

The Barbaros Hayreddin Pasa seismic vessel, the stumbling block of the peace talks between the parties, is now docked in the Famagusta bay, offshore Cyprus. According to Reuters, the vessel owned by Turkish TPAO is awaiting further instructions from the Turkish government.

To remind, Turkey had advised mariners it was reserving areas offshore Cyprus for seismic surveys by Barbaros Hayreddin Pasa vessel from October 20 to December 30. It is unclear if the vessel will return to Turkey, or continue with operations.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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