Turkish Cypriot press reports that President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci have pledged a moratorium of hydrocarbons-related activity until July 31st are not only false but verge on the ridiculous, deputy government spokesman Victoras Papadopoulos said on Wednesday.
He was referring to a report by Turkish daily Milliyet, which cited unnamed sources claiming that the two sides pledged to UN special envoy Espen Barth Eide to refrain from any moves regarding Cyprus’ natural gas until end July.
Until then, the paper said, Anastasiades committed to not starting a new exploratory drill until then, while the Turkish Cypriot leader promised that the seismographic vessel Barbaros will not enter the blocks licensed by the Republic of Cyprus for exploratory drilling.
Akinci, the report said, broached the issue at the negotiating table, warning Anastasiades that “the Greek Cypriot side’s activity in the Eastern Mediterranean will cause tension”, at which point Eide’s intervention triggered the deal.
“Claims by the Turkish newspaper Milliyet of a supposed deal, mediated by the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Adviser for Cyprus, to delay Total’s drilling schedule by 12 days in July, in exchange, no less, for the Barbaros not illegally entering the Cypriot exclusive economic zone are not only false, they verge on the ridiculous,” Papadopoulos said in a statement.