Samaras seeks ‘clear signs’ from Ankara, Anastasiades says gas deposits belong to Cyprus

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on Friday called on Ankara to review its stance in the eastern Mediterranean and offer “clear signs” that it supports the resumption of stalled peace talks on Cyprus.

Addressing a joint press conference in Nicosia with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, Samaras said that Greece understood and fully supported Nicosia’s decision to suspend United Nations-mediated negotiations on the Cyprus problem until Ankara stops challenging Cypriot sovereignty.

“Provocations cannot be ignored, nor can they be rewarded,” Samaras said, referring principally to the presence of a Turkish seismic vessel off the southern coast of Cyprus where Cypriot authorities have a license to drill for hydrocarbons.

Anastasiades, for his part, underlined that energy reserves located in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) belong to the Cyprus Republic, adding that the reserves would only be exploited after a settlement to the Cyprus problem.

Later on Friday, Samaras and Anastasiades were to travel to Cairo for trilateral talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi which are expected to focus on energy cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean.

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