Greece tells Turks to stop harassing Cyprus over gas

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Greece called on Turkey yes­ter­day to stop pro­vok­ing Cyprus as it seeks to de­velop hy­dro­car­bon re­serves within its ex­clu­sive eco­nomic zone (EEZ), while Nicosia re­peated that any gains will only be shared with Turk­ish Cypri­ots after the con­clu­sion of a re­uni­fi­ca­tion set­tle­ment.

“Provo­ca­tions can­not be ig­nored, nor can they be re­warded,” Greek Prime Min­is­ter An­to­nis Sa­ma­ras said after a meet­ing with Cyprus Pres­i­dent Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades in Nicosia.

The Bar­baros, a Turk­ish survey ves­sel, has been con­duct­ing seis­mic stud­ies in Cyprus’s EEZ since Oc­to­ber 20 and has ap­proached blocks that Nicosia has al­ready li­censed to for­eign com­pa­nies. The move prompted Anas­tasi­ades to sus­pend UN-bro­kered peace talks.

“We hope Turkey will re­con­sider so that talks can re­sume,” Sa­ma­ras said.

At yes­ter­day’s meet­ing, which was at­tended by For­eign Min­is­ter Evan­ge­los Venizelos, the two sides sought a for­mula that would prompt Ankara to pull the Bar­baros out of Cyprus’s mar­itime zone and al­low Anas­tasi­ades to re­sume peace talks.

Nicosia re­peated its po­si­tion, to which Turkey ob­jects, that a peace deal is a pre­req­ui­site to shar­ing any rev­enues from ex­trac­tion.

To­day, Sa­ma­ras and Anas­tasi­ades will meet Egypt Pres­i­dent Ab­del Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo. Asked whether Greece will forge an EEZ deal with Egypt, Sa­ma­ras said he does not wish to get ahead of de­vel­op­ments, adding how­ever that all is­sues will be dis­cussed.

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