Presidents Mustafa Akinci and Nicos Anastasiades meet on Monday in what could be a critical stage in the talks.
Observers believe that the latest round of licensing by South Cyprus for gas exploration could scupper progress made so far in the negotiations, after Turkey protested at the continued licensing by the South.
Turkey has said that the Turkish Cypriots have, again, been excluded from the process to find hydrocarbons offshore and that this could endanger the talks.
The South’s Foreign Ministry has said that discovery of gas could benefit the whole of the island in the event of reunification; and the South is exercising its legal right to continue with exploration.
South Cyprus government spokesperson Nicos Christodoulides said that there was “no chance” of the his government delaying the licensing round process, saying that “the Republic’s business in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) had nothing to do with talks.”
UN Special Advisor on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide will attend today’s meeting, the focus of which is to clarify convergences reached thus far.