Cyprus leaders meet in bid to revive stalled peace talks

Cyprus leaders meet in bid to revive stalled peace talks

The leaders of Cyprus’s estranged Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities met on Thursday against the backdrop of Ankara’s plans to start seismic research on Friday in the bay of Famagusta, fueling concern it could expand its activities within the island’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

The meeting between Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci, their first since Sunday’s referendum in Turkey, took place in a bid to relaunch stalled United Nations-backed peace talks to reunify the island after their collapse in February.

The talks, however, were overshadowed by what Greek Cypriot see as suspect Turkish movements in the area.

The Cyprus Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that it reserves the right to take all actions necessary in accordance with international law if Turkey conducts research within its EEZ and its continental shelf off the coast of Famagusta.

“This will constitute a violation of the sovereignty and sovereign rights of the Cyprus Republic,” the ministry said in a statement.

Meanwhile, a pair of armed Turkish F-16 fighter jets entered the Athens Flight Information Region (FIR) on Thursday between the northeastern Aegean island of Lesvos and Limnos. Greek military authorities said the pair engaged twice in mock dog fights with a corresponding pair of Greek jets.

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