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Cyprob has reached a turning point

5 December 2014

Turkish Cypriot negotiator, Ergun Olgun has said that the Greek Cypriot side’s “unilateral stance” which rejects power sharing has started to look unappealing to the international community and because of the recent deadlock in the negotiations, there is a general sense of fatigue over the Cyprus problem, ‘Kibris Postasi’ reports.

In a television interview, Olgun was asked to say whether the countries involved in the Cyprus problem know what they want. Arguing that there is now a turning point in the Cyprus problem, Olgun said that there are some international players, who, for various reasons, have benefited from the status quo in the past. “However, now the hydrocarbon discovery and the powerlessness in Northern Africa and the Middle East have created a new paradigm”, he said, expressing the view that everybody will be disturbed if the “passive Cyprus dispute” reaches another level.

Olgun went on to say that at this turning point, the Greek Cypriots will come face to face with a “sincerity test” and there will be increased pressure on them to make a decision in the near future. He asked: “Are they really ready to share power or do they want to be their own masters in their own territory? They have to decide this”.

Olgun expressed the view that catalysts are needed for changing the status quo in Cyprus and the discovery of hydrocarbon resources is one of them. He argued that the [disputed] explorations of the Turkish seismic survey vessel ‘Barbaros Hayrettin Pasa’ vessel offshore South Cyprus “have given life and meaning” to this discovery, “because it forces the Greek Cypriot side to think twice on the issue of its unilateral initiatives”. Olgun claimed that had ‘Barbaros’ had not been in the area, the Greek Cypriots would have used the hydrocarbons as a trump card against the Turkish Cypriots.

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