Kathimerini reports that Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has proposed the creation of an escrow account that would safeguard the Turkish Cypriot community’s share from the natural gas proceeds.
The proposal, made in an effort to de-escalate tensions in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ), was put forward by Anastasiades during a meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci on August 9.
According to the proposal, the amount deposited in the account will only be released if Turkey ends its provocations in the region by recognizing the Cypriot EEZ boundaries.
Anastasiades, sources in Nicosia say, argued that the establishment of a commission to manage EEZ energy issues – a proposal put forward by the Turkish side – cannot be implemented because it cannot de facto deal with issues that relate to sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus, such as the allocation of shares to companies for research, licensing or the conclusion of transnational agreements.
Along with the creation of an escrow account, the composition of the Hydrocarbon Fund remains on the table, as well as the briefing of the Turkish Cypriots on the issues of hydrocarbons by the president.
The news comes as the two sides are engaged in a dialogue to determine a set of terms of reference that would lead to the resumption of peace talks. Government sources report that Anastasiades made it clear to UN envoy Jane Holl Lute that talks cannot begin while the Turkish provocations in Cyprus’ EEZ continue.