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President sends letter on natural gas proposal to UNSG, EU officials and T/C leader

President Nicos Anastasiades’  reply to a proposal by the Turkish Cypriot side for a joint committee to manage revenue from natural gas has been sent  to the United Nations and the European Union, government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromos said in a written statement on Monday.

According to the statement issued here today by the Presidency, the letter was conveyed to the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini.

The letter was also communicated to Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci.

Earlier this month, Akinci proposed to the internationally recognised government of the Republic of Cyprus that the two sides cooperate in the search for gas off the island.

According to Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency, Akinci proposed to establish a joint committee to manage revenue from natural gas.

Turkish Cypriot BRT website reported that the proposal was made through the UN Special Representative Office in Cyprus.

The proposal comes after a European Union warning that it could curb funding for Turkey in retaliation for what it calls Ankara’s illegal drilling for gas and oil off Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean.

It has been rejected by the council of political party leaders at a meeting chaired by Anastasiades in Limassol last week.

“The proposal cannot be accepted as it misdirects from the essence of the Cyprus problem” and includes clauses that do not serve the public interest, a joint announcement issued after the Council said.

During the meeting, the party leaders agreed to authorise the President to present the Republic’s response to the Turkish Cypriot side and the UN.

Deputy Minister to the President Vasilis Palmas said that the joint statement is unanimous.

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