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Cyprus Rejects Turkish Proposal for Joint Committee on Gas Drilling

Cyprus on Tuesday rejected a proposal by the authorities in the occupied part of the island to establish a cooperative mechanism to address sharing of hydrocarbon resources in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Cyprus party leaders rejected the proposal in a meeting with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades.

A joint statement issued by the Council of Presidents, composed of the heads of Greek Cypriot political parties, said the proposal was far from the essence of the Cyprus problem.

The Cyprus News Agency reports that Anastasiades will officially respond to the proposal.

According to the report, the Cypriot president will stress that there is no room for further discussion on the issue of hydrocarbons, and that the Turkish Cypriot proposal undermines the agreement achieved between former President, Demetris Christofias, and former Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, on this issue.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Saturday said that the proposal, presented through the United Nations, was aimed at creating a cooperative mechanism between Turkish and Greek Cypriots, describing them as co-owners of the hydrocarbon resources to which they had equal rights.

“As such, the proposal envisages cooperation including revenue sharing and enables (the) two sides to benefit from hydrocarbon resources simultaneously,” the ministry said.

If adopted, the proposal would “initiate a new period of cooperation between the two parties,” it added.

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