LEFKOSA (A.A) - President Dervis Eroglu of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) has said that the attitude of Greek Cypriot administration in the eastern Mediterranean made it more compulsory to reach an agreement for Cyprus problem.
Eroglu defined the east Mediterranean as a "circle of fire".
On September 21, Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Eroglu signed in New York an agreement on the delineation of the continental shelf between two countries in the East Mediterranean.
The deal gives Turkey the green light to search oil and natural gas inside the Turkish Cypriot waters.
The agreement follows a Greek Cypriot move to start offshore drilling for natural gas and oil in the southeast of the Eastern Mediterranean island.
On September 22, TRNC Council of Ministers gave exploration license to TPAO, Turkish Petroleum Corp., to explore oil and natural gas in the sea around Cyprus island.
TRNC President Eroglu met UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in New York on September 24, and proposed to suspend oil and natural gas exploration until a comprehensive solution was found to Cyprus question or if Greek Cypriot administration insisted on oil exploration, then a committee shall be set up by the two sides in the island, and it shall decide how to share the richness that could be found after the explorations. However, Greek Cypriot side did not give a positive response. Thus, TPAO, by Piri Reis vessel, began geophysical research and seismic data collecting studies on behalf of TRNC on September 26.
In 2010, the Greek Cypriot administration and Israel signed an accord demarcating their maritime borders to facilitate a search for mineral deposits in the East Mediterranean.
The Greek Cypriot side had signed a deal with U.S.-based Noble Energy to start drilling in an 324,000-hectare economic zone adjacent to the Israeli waters.
We are close to the conclusion in Cyprus talks, Eroglu told reporters.
Noting that Greek Cypriot administration recently said that property topic could not be negotiated if it did not include soil, Eroglu said that he noted in UN's report and announced it to the world during the meeting in Geneva on July 7 that map and figures issue would be discussed in the last phase of the Cyprus talks.
Soil issue will be discussed after the date of a quartet or quintet summit is set, he added.
Turkish Cypriots were exerting efforts to reach a solution with goodwill and trying to overcome a blockage by making new offers during the talks, said Eroglu, adding that if Greek Cypriots did the same thing, a solution could be found.