Greek Cypriot leader receives Turkish counterpart's proposal on hydrocarbon share

Greek Cypriot President Nikos Anastasiades on Sunday officially received his Turkish counterpart Mustafa Akıncı's proposal for the joint use of hydrocarbon resources with the Greek side, the Cyprus Mail reported.

In the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey is at odds with Cyprus and Greece over the potentially rich hydrocarbon reserves in the region. Ankara says the breakaway Turkish-Cypriot enclave in the north of the island, which only it recognises, has a right to a share in the reserves, while the Cypriot government says any proceeds from gas drilling will be shared fairly after a peace deal is established.

At the moment, two Turkish drillships, accompanied by navy vessels, are anchored in areas around Cyprus, where they are exploring for hydrocarbons in defiance on their neighbours and the European Union. 

Anastasiades has requested a meeting with Greek Cypriot's political party leaders on July 16 where he will inform leaders on Akinci’s proposal, according to Cyprus Mail.

Akıncı's proposal aims at creating a cooperation mechanism between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots, as the co-owners of the Island on hydrocarbon resources over which they have equal rights. 

Turkey's foreign minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Sunday Turkey will continue drilling off Cyprus until Greek Cypriot government accept Turkish Cypriot leader's proposal.

Cyprus is split between the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus following Turkey’s invasion of 1974. Turkey does not diplomatically recognise the Republic of Cyprus in the southern part of the island and is the only country to recognise the Turkish Cypriot republic. Talks on reunifying Cyprus broke down in July last year.