By KEREM HASAN
PRESIDENT Mustafa Akıncı voiced his disappointment last week at Greek Cypriot rejection of his “win-win proposal” to create a joint authority to oversee hydrocarbons activities in the eastern Mediterranean and said he intended to raise the issue when he meets Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades on Friday.
Speaking to visiting journalists this week, Mr Akıncı said there was no denying the need for compromise on the issue – a source of major tensions between the island's two sides – and acknowledged that natural resources would come under the federal authority in any future settlement.
“However at present there is no solution or joint government, so how are you able to handle hydrocarbons by yourselves in the name of a state that does not exist?” he asked of the South's administration.
Mr Akıncı said it was important to demonstrate ability to cooperate and added: “The Turkish Cypriot side’s proposal is for all sides to win.”
His remarks came as newly elected Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, visiting South Cyprus on Tuesday, sent a message to Turkey that “none of [their] provocative actions will remain unanswered”.
Commenting on Turkish drilling for hydrocarbons off the island's coasts, Mr Mitsotakis said the Greek side was “in favour of peace and compromise” but would “protect our sovereign rights under international law”. He “emphasise[d] that we are not alone”, saying “illegal” Turkish drilling in waters claimed by the Gree Cypriot administration as their Exclusive Economic Zone would “negatively affect EU-Turkey relations”.
He was also quoted as saying a peace deal was a “top concern” but “out of the question” while fellow guarantor power Turkey retained troops on the island.
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