Barbaros returns to Cyprus EEZ, denting hopes for talks

Turkish-Cypriot officials said Tuesday that the Barbaros seismic research vessel was returning to Cyprus’s Exclusive Economic Zone, where Nicosia is currently drilling for hydrocarbons.

They said that a new maritime order, or Navtex, declaring Turkish authorities’ intentions for the Barbaros to remain in Cyprus’s EEZ until at least April 6, had been issued.

The announcement came a day after the Cypriot National Council, chaired by President Nicos Anastasiades, agreed that Nicosia would not take part in reunification talks until Turkey has shown a clear intention to respect Cyprus’s sovereignty.

Anastasiades refused to continue the talks in October 2014 after the Barbaros first entered the Cypriot EEZ and has since made it clear that he will not return to the table unless the Turkish vessel leaves the area for good.