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Council of party leaders reject Akinci’s proposal for joint gas committee

July 16, 2019 at 2:32pm

The Council of political party leaders decided to reject Mustafa Akinci’s proposal for the creation of a joint committee to manage revenue from hydrocarbon reserves found off Cyprus.

The party leaders and the President convened at 10:30 am on Tuesday at Limassol District Offices.

President Nicos Anastasiades briefed the heads of the parties on Akinci’s proposal, which the government received on Sunday.

“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 and that each party will issue its own statements on the matter.

The Council was attended by the leaders of Disy, Akel, Diko, Edek, the Greens, the Citizens’ Alliance, Dipa, the deputy president of the Solidarity movement and House President Demetris Syllouris.

Elam did not participate.

Akinci’s proposal was handed over last Sunday to President Anastasiades by the Head of the office of the UN Secretary General`s Special Representative in Cyprus, Sergiy Illarionov.

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.

Akinci “presented a new comprehensive cooperation proposal prepared by the Turkish Cypriot side for the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbon resources around the island of Cyprus to the Greek Cypriot side through the United Nations,” Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Turkey issued in May a navigational telex, announcing its intention to start drilling off Cyprus until September 3. Since May 4, the Turkish drill ship “Fatih” is anchored in an area that falls within the EEZ and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus.

A second Turkish drill ship, “Yavuz”, arrived off the island’s northeastern coast last week.

Cyprus says Turkey’s drilling operations are contrary to international law and that decisions on hydrocarbons are its sovereign right.

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Akinci proposes joint committee to manage gas revenue