NEWS

Concerns amid upheaval in the Eastern Med

concerns-amid-upheaval-in-the-eastern-med

The United Nations special envoy on the Cyprus dispute is to remain in Nicosia for further talks following Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci’s failure to make progress in exploratory talks ahead of a new peace push on the divided island amid rising tensions in the region.

Meanwhile, in an apparent effort to de-escalate tensions amid Turkey’s continued illegal prospecting for hydrocarbons off Cyprus, Anastasiades has proposed the creation of an escrow account that would safeguard the Turkish-Cypriot community’s share of proceeds from hydrocarbon finds off the island.

The proposal was put forward by Anastasiades during a meeting with Akinci on August 9, Cypriot media reported.

According to the proposal, the sum deposited in the account would only be released if Turkey ends its provocations in the region by recognizing the boundaries of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone.

In Athens, officials are monitoring regional developments with concern as Turkey has issued two navigational telexes for the whole of next week, reserving areas south and north of Kastellorizo for navy exercises.

Meanwhile a Turkish Coast Guard vessel entered Greek territorial waters off Chios for unknown reasons Wednesday afternoon and was chased off by a Hellenic Coast Guard boat.

Separately on Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made waves by suggesting that Turkey might need to obtain nuclear warheads.

“Some have nuclear missiles, but they tell us they shouldn’t be in my hands. I don’t accept this,” he said. “The US and Russia have them. Every developing nation has them.”