Greek Cypriot President Anastasiades has said that Turkish energy companies have approached South Cyprus about natural gas supply from the South’s exclusive economic zone, ‘Famagusta Gazette’ reports.
Speaking to Greek daily ‘Alithia’ he said that at present natural gas is the prime incentive for Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots to solve the Cyprus problem.
Anastasiades said that Turkey’s priority these days was not the EU but energy supplies for its developing industries. Cyprus and Israel, he noted, are the closest source of energy and of supply to Turkey.
“This means low cost. There is also the issue of the supply pipelines to Turkey. These are the priorities and I have to admit that Turkish companies have sounded us out on this score,” the Greek Cypriot president said.
[South] Cyprus, he stressed, “sees no reason why Turkish companies cannot be one of our buyers of energy, from our own deposits, in the future, if and when Ankara contributes to the solution of the Cyprus problem.”
Referring to solution efforts in Cyprus, to reunite the country, Anastasiades pledged that he would do his utmost to achieve a political settlement before his term in office expires in February 2018, stressing that he expects the new Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan “to adopt such positions that would, on a sound basis, create hope that at long last he means what he is saying, that he wants a speedy resolution of the Cyprus problem.”
“The objective is not to have winners and losers but to to find a solution that will be acceptable to Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots alike, which will provide for a single state, that would safeguard peace and security within the EU.”
Referring to the ongoing UN-led peace process, he said the proposed methodology which the Greek Cypriot side is preparing will accelerate the negotiating process.
“The issues on which there is agreement will be put aside, where small differences exist, an effort will be made to bridge the gap and we shall embark on a dialogue of the core issues of the Cyprus problem, such as territorial adjustments, property, security, guarantees, citizenship, Turkish settlers and many other matters on which we have fundamental differences,” Anastasiades told “Alithia.”