News Local Cyprus says committed to peace talks, but not at gunpoint

Cyprus says committed to peace talks, but not at gunpoint

Cyprus is committed to reunification talks with Turkish Cypriots but not at gunpoint, President Nicos Anastasiades said in an address to the U.N. General Assembly late on Thursday.

EU member Cyprus is at odds with Turkey over maritime energy resources. It is blocking EU sanctions on Belarus until the bloc takes a tougher stance towards Ankara.

“For the (Cyprus peace) talks to resume with realistic prospects for success, it is imperative to create an environment which will be conducive for constructive and good faith negotiations,” the President said in a televised address.

“Not under conditions of intimidation or threats,” he added.

Turkey has dispatched survey vessels within Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone and in areas the Greek Cypriot government has licenced to multinationals to explore for oil and gas.

Cyprus was split after a Turkish invasion in 1974 and the EU admitted the island into the bloc in 2004. Its north is a breakaway Turkish Cypriot state recognised only by Ankara which still maintains troops there.

The latest attempt at reunification between the two Cypriot sides collapsed in disarray in mid-2017.

Anastasiades repeated that his administration was willing to place any revenues from gas exploration into an escrow account for the Turkish Cypriot community.

 

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