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Akel: president should make counter-proposal to Akinci on gas

Andros Kyprianou (Christos Theodorides)

Main opposition Akel said on Saturday the Greek Cypriot side should come up with a counter-proposal to Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci’s suggestion on hydrocarbons, instead of just rejecting it.

In a letter to President Nicos Anastasiades, Akel leader Andros Kyprianou said he was aware he signed on to the joint statement rejecting Akinci’s proposal for a joint hydrocarbons committee during a meeting of party leaders on Tuesday.

“However, from then on we are obliged to note that especially in today’s difficult conditions, this sterile refusal cannot be the final word,” Kyprianou said.

He said the rejection of the Turkish Cypriot leader’s proposal needed to be met with a counter-proposal from the Greek Cypriot side.

Speaking on Tuesday, Akinci expressed regret that his proposal was rejected by the Greek Cypriot side.

He said he was surprised by the reasons since his proposal aimed at turning the hydrocarbon sector to a field of co-operation between the two sides and to defuse tensions.

Akinci rejected the reasons cited by the Greek Cypriot side, arguing that it was the Turkish Cypriots who wanted a solution more, and who paid a higher cost because of the status quo.

He said his proposal on hydrocarbons concerned co-operation and mutual benefit, instead of the current situation of the Greek Cypriot side handling the matter unilaterally.

The Turkish Cypriot leader said a joint committee would not hinder efforts to find a solution but make the path to it shorter.

On Saturday Kyprianou said: “Our unwavering goal and highest priority must be the solution of the Cyprus problem within the agreed parameters.”

Commenting on the Cyprus problem, he said that the only way to achieve a solution was through negotiations, and that the issue of hydrocarbons could and should be used as motivation for a solution.

Kyprianou added that despite the Greek Cypriot side’s opinion that talks failed due to Turkey, the UN Secretary-General noted in his report that the failure of talks was due to both leaders, and that the guarantor powers contributed positively to the security and guarantees issue.

“It is respected that the decision on how you will answer to Mr Akinci is your right.  We ask though that you think very seriously about how you will answer.  Unfortunately, time is running out and the dangers are immense for the country and our people,” he said.


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