Nicosia and Athens at odds with Ankara over gas
Just one week after the collapse of the Cyprus talks, the parties in the conflict are locked in a dispute over the exploitation of gas resources in the Mediterranean: test drilling in Cypriot waters commissioned by Nicosia began on the weekend. Ankara has also sent a research vessel to the drilling area and last week carried out naval exercises off Cyprus's west coast. How dangerous is the situation?
Hellenic people must defend Cyprus
The Greek daily Dimokratia fears there will be Turkish provocations and calls for unity among the Hellenic populations in Greece and in Cyprus:
“If tensions arise, an incident occurs, or it even comes to a break with Turkey, none of our allies will sacrifice material or human resources to defend our homeland. This is fortunately the duty, the privilege and the mission of the Hellenic people. Since we can't predict what will happen, the politicians of the country must express the unity of Hellenism. To this end they should agree at a parliamentary session on a resolution on the natural right of our country and of the Republic of Cyprus to use its own mineral resources.”
Please remain calm!
The Greek Cypriot daily Politis, by contrast, calls for calm:
“The test drilling in Block 11 is directly linked to the negotiations for a solution to the Cyprus problem, but it is not the key criterion for either a solution or complete failure. The Republic of Cyprus has been planning to drill in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) for years, and the Turkish Cypriots have not been excluded from future use of the hydrocarbons, at least not verbally. We must wait and see whether Ankara uses the energy issue as an instrument to resume the dialogue aimed at solving the Cyprus problem or to activate a plan B.”