The palace on Wednesday publicised the letter from President Nicos Anastasiades to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres responding to Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci’s proposal for joint management of hydrocarbons.
The copy of the response dated July 22, was also sent Wednesday to political party leaders in Cyprus and the ambassadors of EU27 member states having been forwarded to the EU leadership at the same time it was sent to Guterres and Akinci.
In it, Anastasiades describes the Turkish Cypriot side’s proposal, made on July 13, as being “in stark contrast” to convergences achieved on the issue of hydrocarbons under past negotiating processes.
These, he said, included not only provisions under the UN Law of the Sea but also that natural resources were to be managed by a federal government to which revenues would be allocated.
“The Turkish side has never contested those convergences,” the letter said. “It is for this exact reason that the issue of hydrocarbons was never raised during the intense negotiating process from 2012 until July 2017 in Crans-Montana.”
Anastasiades then pointed out to Guterres that as a result of the convergences, he himself, the UN chief, had not “deemed it necessary to include the issue of hydrocarbons in your six-point framework”, the basis for resuming talks.
The Akinci proposal, he added, was just a pretext by Turkey using the protection of Turkish Cypriot rights as a cover.
He then referred to the hydrocarbons fund that was passed into law, saying it would ensure that revenues were reserved for “future generations of all Cypriots”.
Anastasiades also pointed out that Turkey’s claims on the exploration and exploitation blocks would limit Cyprus’ EEZ by 44 per cent “at the expense of the rights and interests of the Cypriot people, both Greek and Turkish Cypriots”.
He then referred to the already-published proposal offering additional mechanisms to the Turkish Cypriots to safeguard their share of the wealth if a solution was on the horizon.
Although there were many other reasons as to why Akinci’s proposal was rejected, which he would not go into, Anastasiades said the most important issue was reaching a solution “which will undoubtedly provide answers to all unresolved issues resulting from the unacceptable status quo”.
“Of course, resuming the negotiations entails that Turkey will actively contribute to creating an appropriate climate conducive to holding talks by ending its unlawful activities,” he said.
Akinci’s spokesman Baris Burcu said on Tuesday after receiving the response, that Anastasiades’ arguments against Akinci’s proposal were unconvincing. He said the issue would be raised again at the August 9 meeting.