Turkish Cypriot once more warns Greek over drilling plans

President Dervis Eroglu of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus asked the Greek Cypriot administration to review its stance for the sake of future of ongoing Cyprus negotiations.

Turkish Cypriot once more warns Greek over drilling plans

Turkish Cypriot president once more warned the Greek Cypriots on Saturday regarding their oil and natural gas exploration initiatives.

President Dervis Eroglu of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) asked the Greek Cypriot administration to review its stance for the sake of future of ongoing Cyprus negotiations.

"I have proposed Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias to delay oil explorations, and these explorations should be postponed just for the sake of negotiations," Eroglu told reporters before he headed for Turkey--where he will fly to New York for United Nations (UN) General Assembly.

Eroglu said Turkish Cypriots had pledged to go on negotiations till the end of October without causing any problems, and then to go to New York to confirm agreed issues and to seek opportunities for a more compromise.

"When I told Christofias that we will have to take some measures (if explorations are not delayed), he told me that there was no need to sit at negotiation table, and this stance will have a negative effect on negotiations," he said.

Eroglu said it was time for an agreement, and he thought parties should focus on a possible agreement instead of causing tension or new conflicts.

Turkish Cypriot president also said TRNC would continue to monitor developments regarding Greek Cypriot initiatives to explore oil and natural resources.

Turkey and the TRNC on Thursday agreed to conclude a continental shelf delimitation agreement should the Greek Cypriot administration proceed with offshore drilling activities in the south of the island, said the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

In a statement released Thursday, the MFA said that "upon the invitation by the Turkish government, a technical meeting was held today at the Ministry with a delegation composed of representatives from relevant authorities of the TRNC.

As a result of the meeting, it has been agreed that Turkey and the TRNC will conclude a continental shelf delimitation agreement should the Greek Cypriot administration proceed with offshore drilling activities in the south of the island.

In 2010, Greek Cypriot administration and Israel signed an accord demarcating their maritime borders to facilitate a search for mineral deposits in the eastern Mediterranean.

Eroglu will meet Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as well as some other government executives in Istanbul.

President Eroglu will proceed to New York from Istanbul on Sunday. He is expected to return to TRNC on September 25.

Before leaving the island, President Dervis Eroglu met Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay over a breakfast.

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Last Mod: 17 Eylül 2011, 12:51
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