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Coalition green lights draft water agreement

26 February 2016

Justice and Development Party (AKP) government has approved amendments submitted last night to Ankara by the Prime Minister Omer Kalyoncu on behalf of the TRNC government to the draft agreement on administration of the water transferred from Turkey to North Cyprus via undersea pipelines.

Yeni Bakis writes that with Ankara’s positive reply, the collapse of the coalition government over the water management issue was avoided.

Recalling that the deadline given by the UBP to the CTP to solve the water crisis expired on Wednesday, the paper notes that during the day Kalyoncu called Tugrul Turkes, Deputy Prime Minister responsible for Cypriot Affairs, and managed to get a positive response from Ankara to his requests. Kalyoncu decided to call a meeting of the cabinet on Thursday to get its approval on the text of the amended agreement.

Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris reports that Kalyoncu told the paper’s reporter that their demands for change were mainly regarding the municipalities, which do not want to enter into the agreement. Municipalities who were not going to be part of the system will have access to local wells and the water from Turkey. However, they would not be entitled to a share of revenues from the sale of the water, not would they receive any investments.

“With the change, the municipalities will be given water from Turkey and a purchase guarantee will also granted”, he said adding that with an amendment in article 6 of the agreement, the water will first be supplied to the TRNC and afterwards a tender for management will be invited in North Cyprus. Kalyoncu noted that ownership of the underground water will not be given to the private sector as it belongs to the state. According to the agreement, he added, the underground water resources should be taken under control and the aquifers should be preserved.

Yeni Bakis, Star Kibris

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