Cyprus urges Turkey to cooperate on energy, but peace first


Cyprus’s president has called on Turkey to cooperate on exploiting the East Mediterranean’s potential oil and gas wealth, as long as the ethnically split island nation is reunified.

Speaking at a conference organized by The Economist on Friday, President Nicos Anastasiades said Cyprus is ready to work with Turkey as part of energy-based partnerships it has built with other neighboring countries. But he said a reunification agreement must come first.

Cyprus Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides told the same event that Cyprus wants Turkey to join these partnerships, but that won’t happen if Cyprus remains divided.

Christodoulides said Turkey’s threats against Cyprus’s own energy search won’t draw Cyprus into a discussion disputing its sovereign rights.

US Ambassador to Cyprus Kathleen Doherty said the US believes “military responses to potential commercial disputes are inappropriate.” [AP]