World Bulletin / News Desk
After Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders restarted the stalled Cyprus peace talks on Tuesday under UN supervision, hopes have been running high that the talks will finally resolve the 40-year stalemate between the two peoples.
Although talks have been ongoing on and off ever since Turkey exercized its constitutional right as a guarantor via military intervention following a coup against the legitimate government by the Greek Cypriot EOKA militant group, who were seeking to annex the island with Greece, this time the talks have the support of nearly all parties involved.
The discovery of natural gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean no doubt plays a great role in the resumption of negotiations, and a deal between the two sides in Cyprus will most likely determine the outcome of how this gas is exploited, who gets to exploit it, and who gets to export it as well as to whom it gets exported.
For this reason, all nations in the region are following the Cyprus peace talks closely, including Lebanon, which lies to the south-east of Cyprus just a short distance across the sea. Lebanon's Al-Shafir newspaper mentioned the new factor of economic benefits pushing for a lasting solution to the Cyprus problem.
In mentioning that Israel is also one of the potential export partners of the natural gas reserves, the newspaper reminded that Turkey has in the past condemned the Greek Cypriot administration for seeking to exploit the reserves with Israel while refusing to resume peace talks with the Turkish Cypriots.
However, at the same time it stated that in order for the Greek Cypriot administration and Israel to export the gas to Europe, they need a pipeline through Turkey, which Turkey would not consider unless Israel officially apologized for the killing of 9 Turkish activists by Israeli commandos in international waters during the Mavi Marmara incident in 2010 - which they eventually did.
As this apology has opened the way for a normalization of relations between Turkey and Israel, they can finally begin discussing the exploitation and export of the gas, but in order to do this, the Cyprus problem has to be solved. A newborn trilateral business partnership between Turkey, Cyprus and Israel is fuelling the peace process, the Lebanese paper claimed.Last Mod: 13 Şubat 2014, 13:28