President Anastasiades has issued the threat that if Turkey continues to violate South Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), the South will withdraw from the Cyprus negotiations.
In an interview with Greek weekly newspaper ‘Kathimerini’, relating to the start of the negotiations and developments in energy in the eastern Mediterranean, Anastasiades said he believed that the discovery of natural gas improved the chances of a solution to the Cyprus problem. “Hydrocarbons are a decisive factor,” he said. “Turkey has needs, Israel has needs and Cyprus has needs. By solving the Cyprus issue we open up wide horizons.” However, he emphasised that if Turkey continued to violate the South’s EEZ, he would walk away from the negotiations.
Since the discovery of hydrocarbons offshore Cyprus, Turkey has maintained that some of those waters lie within its own maritime territories and last year began seismic surveys around the island.
Continuing, the president said that the discovery of natural gas in Cyprus’ EEZ had prompted the USA to take a more active role in promoting a settlement of the Cyprus problem.
The USA’s interest “creates a new dynamic, especially if the quantities are such that they replace existing monopolies and the political dependencies they create,” Anastasiades said.