TRNC News Today 29th January 2016

The leaders will hold third meeting of 2016 today

President Mustafa Akıncı and the Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades will hold their third meeting of 2016 today within the framework of the Cyprus negotiations.

3rd Meeting of 2016

The UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide also will be present at the meeting which will take place at the buffer zone at 10:00.

Eide: “International community’s support has never been stronger”

The UN Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide said that the international community’s interest in and support for a Cyprus settlement has never been stronger. Eide underlined that the international community has started to express their opinions both on finance of the settlement and other dimensions.

“The international support for the process that is taking place here is in my view stronger than ever before” said Eide. “This was confirmed by the Security Council, which issued a unanimous resolution on UNFICYP underlining the unanimous support for the work that is being done by the two leaders in Cyprus” said Eide.

Espen Barth Eide

Touching upon the meeting between the two leaders; the UN Special Adviser said that the two leaders will determine how to move the process forward. Eide also said that it was of the utmost importance that the two leaders intensified their efforts towards achieving convergences on the most demanding of the issues at the table.

Today’s meeting between the two leaders will be the last of the three meetings scheduled for January. The schedule for next month’s leaders’ meetings is expected to be determined following today’s meeting.

Asked if he is optimistic about a Cyprus solution in the coming months, he said that this is not up to him, but up to the leaders, who in their New Year`s statement, as well as in Davos, expressed the same hope, optimism and a shared vision.

Responding to a question in regard to an initiative being undertaken by the Greek Cypriot leader to make Turkish an official EU language, Eide said that this was an important initiative and a positive development.

On the financing of the solution, Eide referred to serious work that is going on, both by the relevant technical committees, as well as the World Bank, the IMF and the EU. Eide said that private sector investors are also being engaged.

“Do we have the funds ready and all the money in the bank? Of course not” he said, but added that good work is being done on that. “Davos was helpful in that respect” he noted, adding that it has mobilized an even higher degree of interest.

“What all Cypriots should now do together with the leaders is to sell the story that a future united Cyprus – if it happens – is a very attractive place to come with some of that money. There is an economic opportunity and you have to mobilize international support, public and private,” he concluded.

Close cooperation among South Cyprus, Israel and Greece

An agreement was signed at the first summit between South Cyprus, Israel, and Greece about furthering joint works which contribute to diversification of energy sources of the EU and security of the three countries.

Israel, South Cyprus, Greece

Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a joint meeting after the summit. The agreement regarding the management of water resources was signed by the Ministers of Agriculture of the three countries.

Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiades described the summit as “historic” and emphasized that the “Nicosia Declaration” will be the keystone of their cooperation on the energy, tourism, environment, water management, counter terrorism and refugee issues. Anastasiades also indicated that a trilateral coordination committee will be established in order to monitor the issues they had compromised.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated that the possibility of the establishment of a pipeline to carry natural gas from Israel and South Cyprus to Europe through Greece, and the possibility of a subsea electricity cable system which connects electric power grids of Israel –South Cyprus and Greece were discussed by the leaders.

BG entered “12th Parcel” partnership

It was reported that the agreement was signed with British Gas (BG) which will be one of the shareholders of the 12th parcel in the South Cyprus so-called “Exclusive Economic Zone (MEB)”

British Gas

The Greek Cypriot Alithia newspaper indicated that BG has the concession on Block 12 with a 35 percent share after approval of the shareholders for the sale of the company to Shell with the signing ceremony yesterday.  According to the latest situation; American Noble Energy maintained that operatorship of Block 12 with a 35 percent share arising from the Hydrocarbon Exploration Licence, while Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration each hold 15 percent working interest.

Palestinians want Neofitu to take back his statements

Former Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Shaath (1994-2005) emphasized that he wants the leader of DİSİ Averof Neofitu to take back his statements to the Jerusalem Post during his visit to Israel on 12 January 2016.

Averof Neofitu

Shaath mentioned in his article in the Israel newspaper that Neofitu said in his statement that “Cyprus does not think that Israel is an aggressive country and impose their wishes to the Palestinian people forcibly. On the contrary, they see Israel as a small state which struggles for its existence in spite of the negative conditions.”

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