S Cyprus to get drilling results in December

Greek Cyprus will receive the first results of its attempt to locate oil and gas off its southeastern coast by the beginning of December, the country’s commerce, industry and tourism minister has said.

Christofias (R) shakes hands with Eroğlu (L) during their meeting in this file photo. AFP photo

Christofias (R) shakes hands with Eroğlu (L) during their meeting in this file photo. AFP photo

Exploration in the country’s exclusive economic zone is continuing without any problems, Cyprus news agency reported Minister Praxoula Antoniadou as saying Tuesday.

“The company gave a break to its work on Monday, but it will continue its research Wednesday,” she said.

The exploration drive has led to a worsening of relations between Turkish Cyprus and Greek Cyprus, as the former has also claimed a right to any natural resources that are found off the south’s coast.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, Turkish Cypriot President Derviş Eroğlu and his Greek Cypriot counterpart, Demetris Christofias, discussed a “path” to be followed until they hold a meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York on Oct. 30 and 31, Anatolia news agency reported.

The two leaders will probably begin “give-and-take” negotiations on Friday, Eroğlu said Tuesday, adding that there was no problem regarding negotiations. Christofias has been facing pressure at home since a public inquiry found him responsible for a deadly munitions blast at a military base earlier this year. The president, however, said he would not resign in order to avoid instability.

“Resignation … would lead Cyprus into a protracted electoral confrontation leading to a period of instability and tension,” Christofias said Monday. Christofias had been accused of “unforgivable negligence” for allowing the munitions to be stored in the open at a naval base on the island’s south coast for two and a half years despite repeated warnings.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011