TRNC News Today 17th February 2016
Eroğlu: “Continuation of guarantees is essential for the Turkish Cypriot people”
3rd President Derviş Eroğlu emphasized that continuation of Turkey’s active and effective guarantee is essential for the Turkish Cypriot people.
Derviş Eroğlu indicated that President Akıncı’s statement “the priority on property belongs to the prior owner, also the condition of the resident will be considered” was wrong.
Responding to the questions about the Cyprus problem and government works in a TV program, 3rd President Eroğlu stated that since the Presidential spokesman said that the guarantees are not taboo and the CTP leader indicated that the guarantees are not an obstacle prior to the settlement, these statements encouraged the Greek Cypriot side in obtaining compromise.
Furthermore, Eroğlu said that Anastasiades mentioning that a country which is not an EU member cannot be a guarantor country concerns the Turkish Cypriot people.
Akıncı received Bambasova
President Mustafa Akıncı received the Ambassador of the Czech Republic to South Cyprus, Helena Bambasova.
Presidency Adviser for Political Affairs and History Meltem Onurkan Samani and Foreign Relations Coordinator Deniz Birinci were also present at the meeting. No statement was made after the meeting.
“Active support asked from interested parties”
EP Rapporteur on Turkey`s accession progress Kati Piri presented Turkey accession progress report while addressing the press in Brussels.
In the report, the constructive attitude of both sides in Cyprus were praised, and active support of Turkey and interested parties were requested.
Harmancı met with Tomova
The Mayor of Lefkoşa Turkish Municipality (LTB), Mehmet Harmancı met with Slovakia’s Ambassador to South Cyprus Oksana Tomova. During the meeting, the joint studies of Lefkoşa Turkish Municipality and the Greek Cypriot Nicosia Municipality as well as the projects of LTB and the Cyprus issue were discussed.
Emphasizing that they hold meetings regularly with Turkish and Greek Municipalities as well as non-governmental organizations and political parties on both sides of the island, Tomova informed Mayor Harmancı about their meetings. Tomova also stated that the meetings contributed to the development of relations between the two communities.
In his speech, the Mayor of Lefkoşa Turkish Municipality LTB Mehmet Harmancı expressed that the meetings of the Slovak Embassy in South Cyprus provided positive contribution to the peace process in Cyprus.
Former U.N. Secretary-General Ghali passed away
Egyptian diplomat Boutros Boutros-Ghali who was the United Nations’ sixth Secretary-General has passed away at the age of 93.
Permanent Representative of Venezuela to the United Nations and President of the Security Council Rafael Dario Ramirez Carreno announced that Ghali who served one term as the UN Secretary General from 1992-96 had passed away.
International Northern Cyprus Cycling Tour
As a project of the Northern Cyprus Cycling Federation and within the collaboration of the TRNC Prime Ministry Sports Department, the 1st International Northern Cyprus Cycling Tour will be held in 3 stages between the dates of 19-21 February. 11 elite men from six countries will attend the 1st International Northern Cyprus Cycling Tour. During all the stages of the bicycle tour which will be held under the slogan of “discover as long as you ride” filming and photography will be done from air and land.
In order to enhance bicycle tourism and in terms of promoting the country to foreign teams, the 1st International Northern Cyprus Cycling Tour will provide a great contribution to TRNC tourism. It was also expressed that through the 1st International Northern Cyprus Cycling Tour, significant gains will be obtained in sense of promoting cycling and healthy living and also increasing bicycle tracks.
Greek Cypriot Government to launch third oil and gas exploration in the Cyprus EEZ
The Greek Cypriot Government announced yesterday that it will launch a third oil and gas exploration round in the Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
Greek Cypriot Government Spokesman Nikos Christodoulides said that the Greek Cypriot Council of Ministers decided, during its meeting on Tuesday, to proceed with a third round for hydrocarbons exploration within the Cyprus EEZ.
He noted that the Cabinet “authorised Energy Minister (Yiorgos Lakkotrypis) to submit the necessary proposals to the Council of Ministers so the decision can be implemented as soon as possible.”
The spokesman said the government could provide no additional information before “the procedures are completed”.
Cyprus Mail: “No rational reason for third licensing round”
The Cyprus Mail published in South Cyprus criticized in its editorial the timing of the decision taken about the third licensing round in the Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone yesterday.
In the editorial, Cyprus Mail stressed that it is not right to take such a decision while the negotiation process is continuing.
Editorial of the Cyprus Mail is as follows:
“The government announced on Tuesday its decision to proceed with the third licensing round for oil and gas exploration in Cyprus’ EEZ. It instructed energy minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis to “submit the necessary proposals to the Council of Ministers so that the decision could be implemented as soon as possible.”
Anticipating there would be questions about the timing of the decision, which seems ill-advised both politically and economically, unnamed sources claimed big interest had been expressed about licensing during last month’s World Economic Forum at Davos. Sigmalive quoted unnamed sources as saying “all the work had been done at Davos” where President Anastasiades had a meeting with the head of the Italian energy company ENI that already has a drilling concession for a block in the Cyprus EEZ.
It is rather difficult to believe there was great interest in Davos given the falling world oil and gas prices, which make drilling and exploration much less attractive for big companies. If anything, the state of the world market would suggest this was the worst possible time to embark on a new licensing round as bids are certain to be low and interest limited. Would it not have been much wiser to wait for the world market to pick up before taking any decision?”
Cyprus Mail also referred to the political outcome of the decision and stressed that the taken decision will affect the negotiation process in a negative way and commented as follows:
“It was also an unwise decision politically. At a time when talks to solve the Cyprus problem are supposedly making progress and there are expectations of an agreement being reached this year, why has the government decided to have a licensing round that could put the peace process at risk? Could the government not have waited a few months to see how the talks had progressed before announcing this decision?
Opposition parties have applauded the decision. DIKO on Tuesday pointed out that it had urged the government to proceed urgently with a new licensing round at an energy seminar it held on Saturday and felt vindicated by the announcement. But, like the government, it failed to offer one rational reason why this was regarded as the right time to proceed. Why had it made such a demand from the government?
As nobody has provided a plausible reason for the decision we would venture to guess that it was dictated exclusively by electoral considerations. We have parliamentary elections in three months and the government hoped to give DISY a boost by being able to boast that it had initiated a third licensing round, which is considered a vote-winner. After all, populist considerations are what determine policy in Cyprus.”
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Pictures shown are courtesy of the TRNC Public Information Office Facebook page.