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Anastasiades meets Kerry in Davos (update 2)

The USA is trying to create the conditions necessary to restart reunification talks, which stalled after Turkey sent a research vessel inside Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone prompting President Nicos Anastasiades to abandon the negotiating table, the government said on Friday.

Anastasiades discussed the developments in the Cyprus problem with US State Secretary John Kerry on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum at Davos.

During the 45-minute meeting, the president briefed Kerry about his decision to pull out of talks while Turkey continued to threaten, and violate Cyprus’ sovereign rights.

According to an official statement, Kerry reiterated the US position concerning the Republic’s right to exploit the natural resources inside its EEZ.

“He also noted that the US is working to create the conditions necessary for the resumption of substantive talks on the Cyprus problem,” the government spokesman said.

Anastasiades lashed out at the UN and the USA last week, following the publication of UNSG Ban Ki-moon’s UNFICYP report, which the president described as an effort to force his return to the negotiating table while Turkey continued to violate Cyprus’ sovereign rights.

In an interview with private Mega television, Anastasiades said he had received promises from Ban, Kerry, and US Vice President Joe Biden, the Russian foreign minister and even Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, that Turkey was ready to go ahead with talks at the start of October as agreed.

On top of that, the ambassador of a big power – he did not name – had told him that before the start of the talks, Turkey was going to lift the embargo on Cyprus-flagged vessels.

Instead, five days later Turkey dispatched Barbaros to carry out seismic surveys inside Cyprus’ EEZ, he said.
“It is the first time I say it, but patience has its limits.”

Anastasiades said he would not “bow, under any circumstances, and be dragged into talks under threat or blackmail”.

On Friday, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said natural gas found around Cyprus would go through Turkey if there is peace on the island, state broadcaster CyBC reported.

The Turkish prime minister was speaking to businessmen at Davos. Davutoglu said Turkey aimed to become an energy hub and have pipelines from neighbouring countries go through its territory.

It also emerged that Anastasiades will be visiting Egypt on March 15, at the invitation of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who is also attending the Davos forum.

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