Turkish side not prepared to resume talks, Christodoulides says

TAGS: Cyprus, Diplomacy, Turkey

Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot administration are not yet prepared to resume talks to reunite the ethnically-split island stalled months ago, Cyprus government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides has told state broadcaster RIK.

His comments came after talks with Elizabeth Spehar, the special representative of the UN secretary-general in Cyprus, who on Tuesday met with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci. The Turkish Cypriot side reportedly said it will return to negotiations only after it is accepted as a talking partner over natural gas exploration licensing and resources sharing.

Christodoulides said the international community can see that the Turkish Cypriot administration is using the energy issue as an excuse to shy away from peace talks.

He said the issue would be discussed during a meeting with Spehar and UN undersecretary general Jean-Pierre Lacroix who is expected on the island later this week.