Akinci Says Cyprus Unity Could Bring EU Gas Bonanza – Through Turkey

November 13, 2018

A Cyprus reunification deal could lead to gas from Israel, Egypt and Cyprus shipped to the European Union through a proposed pipeline – but it should go through Turkey – the leader of the Turkish-Cypriots on the island said.

Mustafa Akinci dangled the idea as a key to finally bringing the island together again some 44 years after Turkey unlawfully seized the northern third which is still under occupation. Unity talks collapsed in July, 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana when Akinci and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan refused to remove an occupying army and wanted the right to militarily intervene again.

Turkey has a pipeline in place and the European Union has funded a feasibility study on the proposed East Med pipeline that has the backing of Israel, Cyprus, Greece and Italy. Turkey has put warships off Cyprus in a bid to keep foreign energy companies from drilling for oil and gas.
ExxonMobil is scheduled to begin exploratory drilling off Cyprus later this month. Turkey vehemently opposes a gas search by the Cypriot government, saying it infringes on it rights and those of Turkish Cypriots to the island’s natural resources.

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades had already agreed to share any potentially lucrative energy finds with the Turkish side but Akinci and Erdogan said that’s not enough and that Turkish-Cypriots should have a role in the licensing or would begin drilling themselves.

Akinci said Turkey should also be the conduit for gas finds as the cheaper, faster “logical” route to markets for east Mediterranean gas, but that a Cyprus peace deal must precede any such plans.
“Everybody could win from this,” he told a televised news conference.

Akinci said that he’s open to discussing a proposal by Anastasiades for a more decentralized federal government in a peace agreement that would grant more authority to the Greek-Cypriot and Turkish-Cypriot zones.

Anastasiades said last week his proposal could make a peace deal more workable by reducing the number of federal responsibilities where disagreement could lead to deadlock.

But Akinci said Turkish-Cypriots would never accept domination by the majority Greek Cypriots and are demanding “effective participation” in federal decision-making which he insisted wasn’t veto power.
U.N. envoy Jane Holl Lute, an American diplomat, is expected to return Cyprus for more contacts to determine whether stalled peace talks can resume.

On Nov. 12, residents from both sides walked through a newly-opened crossing point in the southeastern village of Dherynia in what peace activists are hailing as further breaking down of barriers but a number of similar unity gestures haven’t led to a resolution.

Dherynia, and another crossing point in the country’s northwest, bring the total of crossing points to open since travel restrictions across the United Nations-controlled buffer zone were relaxed 2003 to nine.

But a number of demonstrators at the crossing point voiced their opposition to the openings which they said help to entrench ethnic division showing how deep and bitter the differences are between the two sides.

(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report)


NICOSIA - With countries reaching out more to the ultra-wealthy for higher-class tourism, Cyprus is making its bid with the 300-million euro ($315 million) Aya Napa Marina that offers world-class facilities for yachts.

Top Stories

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

General News

PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.


TNΗ’s Happenings of the Week by Eraklis Diamataris

NEW YORK – The National Herald’s Happenings of the Week as have been reported at the print and digital editions of TNH and presented by the TNH Editor Eraklis Diamataris.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.