World Bulletin/News Desk
The Greek Ambassador in Ankara, Kyriakos Loukakis, has been summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry following the Greek suspension of peace talks over Cyprus.
The move came Wednesday after the Greek Cypriot administration suspended negotiations over the divided island after Turkey sent a warship to monitor oil and gas exploration off the coast of Cyprus.
Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades abandoned the talks with the Turkish Cypriot leadership Tuesday following reports that the Turkish corvette had been sent to monitor Greek Cypriot exploration.
The Turkish General Staff warned Monday that it was closely monitoring the drillship SAIPEM-10000, and Turkey warned the Greek Cypriot administration against unilateral moves to extract natural gas and oil without considering Turkish Cypriot views.
Anastasiades said the decision had been made after consulting with party leaders and the negotiator in the talks, Andreas Mavroyiannis.
Turkey expects Greek Cypriots to quickly reverse a decision to halt reunification talks with Turkish Cypriots and resume their dialogue or risk harming peace prospects in a troubled region, a cabinet minister said on Wednesday.
"The (decision) is unfortunate, and I don't think it's sustainable. I expect the (Greek) Cypriot administration to change this wrong decision quickly," Volkan Bozkir, minister for European Union Affairs, said at a press conference to discuss the EU's annual report on Turkey's progress towards meeting criteria for membership.
"This is saddening as it harms glimmers of hope for our region, which is undergoing huge problems ... We hope that all of those who have an interest in peace and stability in the region will contribute to changing this decision that has surprised everyone," Bozkir said, calling on Greece, the United States and the EU to intervene to keep the peace talks on track.
Bozkir reiterated that Greek Cypriots are exploiting the island's natural resources for their own gain and excluding Turkish Cypriots from their share.
Greece’s Prime Minister Antonis Samaras supported the decision to suspend the talks.
Dervis Eroglu, the president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, was expected to meet with Anastasiades to move on to a new phase of negotiations on October 9.
The stalled negotiations on Cyprus were resuscitated in February as part of a new initiative to resolve the conflict with both sides’ leaders issuing a joint declaration on the path towards reunification.
The island of Cyprus has remained divided into Greek and Turkish parts since a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by a Turkish peace mission to aid Turkish Cypriots in the north in 1974.
The Greek Cypriot administration is a member of the EU and is internationally recognized except by Turkey -- the only country which recognizes the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.Last Mod: 08 Ekim 2014, 23:32