Turk­ish FM tetchy ahead of talks in Greece

Cavu­soglu irked by Egypt agree­ment, Nicosia re­fusal over Cypriot gas and oil

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Three weeks be­fore a Greek-Turk­ish sum­mit in Athens, Turkey’s For­eign Min­is­ter Mev­lut Cavu­soglu ac­cused Greece and Cyprus yes­ter­day of try­ing to “frighten” his coun­try by sign­ing an agree­ment with Egypt.

Cavu­soglu made the com­ment with re­gards to the Cairo Dec­la­ra­tion signed by Greece, Cyprus and Egypt ear­lier this month. The three coun­tries agreed to co­op­er­ate more close- ly on a range of is­sues, in­clud­ing en­ergy, which is a sen­si­tive is­sue in the East­ern Mediter­ranean.

The Turk­ish for­eign min­is­ter also crit­i­cized Nicosia for car­ry­ing out hy­dro­car­bon ex­plo­rations off Cyprus at a time when re­uni­fi­ca­tion talks with Turk­ish Cypri­ots are still in progress. Cavu­soglu said this was not a “good­will ges­ture” on Nicosia’s part but he played down the sig- nif­i­cance of Turkey send­ing the Bar­baros seis­mic re­search ves­sel into Cyprus’s ex­clu­sive eco­nomic zone.

Nicosia was un­moved by Cavu­soglu’s com­ments and a meet­ing of the Na­tional Coun­cil, chaired by Pres­i­dent Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades, led to Nicosia re­ject­ing a sug­ges­tion by United Na­tions me­di­a­tor Espen Barth Eide for a tech­ni­cal com­mit­tee con­sist­ing of Greek and Turk­ish Cypri­ots to be cre­ated to man­age the is­land’s hy­dro­car­bons.

Eide had pro­posed the panel as q mea­sures aimed at get­ting peace talks restarted. In­stead, Anas­tasi­ades will pro­pose steps that had been pre­vi­ously agreed by Greek and Turk­ish Cypriot lead­ers to defuse ten­sion. Th­ese in­clude the cre­ation of a common fund for rev­enues from any gas or oil sold.

trav­el­ing from Pi­raeus to Halkida on Evia with 20 pas­sen­gers aboard col­lided with a Hel­lenic Rail­ways Or­ga­ni­za­tion (OSE) en­gine near Rouf sta­tion in Athens yes­ter­day. Ac­cord­ing to OSE, the two trains were mov­ing at low speed when the ac­ci­dent oc­curred. No­body was hurt in the col­li­sion, which is be­ing in­ves­ti­gated. Au­thor­i­ties be­lieve that the crash was caused by hu­man er­ror.

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