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North’s water agreement to be signed in Ankara on Wednesday

A view of a reservoir in Myrtoy that receives fresh water from Turkey via the water pipeline

The ‘prime minister’ of northern Cyprus Omer Kalyoncu is to meet Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Ankara on Wednesday to sign the agreement for managing the water piped from Turkey to the north.

The agreement came after months of negotiations and disputes between the north Cyprus and Ankara.

The issue had become a cause of friction between the two parties that form the ‘coalition government’, resulting in one of the parties, the National Unity Party (UBP), giving an ultimatum to its coalition partner, the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), to sign the agreement or else they would walk out.

At the eleventh hour amendments were proposed which Turkey accepted. The problem was a provision in the initial agreement according to which the company that would manage the water distribution was to also have control over the north’s boreholes thus creating a water monopoly, which was not accepted by the CTP.

Local authorities wanted to manage the water themselves, but Turkey said it should be given to a private company.

Last week reports said municipalities who were not going to be part of the system will have access to local wells and the imported water.

But they would not receive a share of the turnover from the sale of the water, nor would there be any investment in their jurisdiction.

According to media reports in the north, opposition parties are still not satisfied with the revised agreement and blame the two ruling parties for lack of transparency as regards the issue.

 


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