- Cyprus says no talks while Turkish ships go up a challenge on finding gas into the Cypriot EEZ.
Media reported that Cyprus’s president vowed on January the 5th to not resume peace talks with the North part of Cyprus occupied by Turkey as long as Turkish ships remained off the island, threatening its right to explore fornatural gas offshore (Reuters).
Turkey, which supports a breakaway state in northern Cyprus, dispatched a research vessel to the south of the island late last year while companies commissioned by the internationally recognized government explored offshore.
Matthew Bryza, the U.S. Secretary of State former spokesperson and ambassador, spoke to a Turkish Newspaper about energy tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean (Source: Daily Sabah.com)
Bryza works as a consultant on business and democratic development, and is a board member of several private companies in Turkey. In June 2012, Bryza was appointed board member of <a class="new" style="color:#a55858;background-image:none;font-family:sans-serif;font-size:14px;line-height:22px;" title="Turcas Petrol >Turcas Petrol, an affiliate of SOCAR.
Mr Bryza told that “ the economic and geopolitical benefits to all parties of exporting Eastern Mediterranean natural gas to as well as via Turkey are so strong that I anticipate the various parties will eventually find a way to reduce political tensions sufficiently to enable such an important economic project.”
He added “Indeed, it would be a shame of the parties missed an opportunity to use exports of natural gas to catalyze a comprehensive settlement to the Cyprus Question and transform the Eastern Mediterranean into a region of strong cooperation among neighbors. At this moment, however, this vision remains beyond the horizon. An additional problem right now is that the development of Israel’s Leviathan natural gas field (which would be a source of gas for export to Turkey and the EU), appears delayed due to an internal dispute involving Israel’s anti-monopoly commission and the Ministry of Energy.”
Cyprus suspended talks in October after Turkey announced an initial gas search in waters where the Cypriot government has licensed a consortium made up of Italy’s Eni and South Korean Kogas to drill. French company Total has also been granted drilling rights.
“Turkey’s repetition of this extremely provocative action should be cause for serious concern for the international community,” said the Cypriot government.
The Turkish auto-declared Cypriot foreign ministry said Tuesday that a Turkish research vessel will carry on seismic tests off Cyprus as it has under naval escort for the last three months — because the Greek Cypriots didn’t cease their own drilling activities.
Turkish Cypriots want a say in any oil and gas exploration and want the issue included in peace talks. But Cypriot government officials insist that discussions can only happen after a peace deal is reached when all will share in any fossil fuel wealth.
US company Noble Energy and Israel’s Delek and Avner are partners in a gas field off Cyprus estimated to hold between 3.6 trillion and 6 trillion cubic feet of gas.
The country was split by a Turkish invasion in 1974 after a brief Greek-inspired coup ( from 1968 to 1974 Greece was ruled by a dictatory).
The absence of a political settlement in the northern area administered by Turkish Cypriots, where corruption, patronage, and lack of transparency continue, poses inherent risks for foreign investors. The March 2013 bailout by the EU that was intended to flush dirty Russian money from Cyprus’s bloated banks had the unintended consequence of giving Russian oligarchs majority ownership, at least on paper, of the Bank of Cyprus. (Source: Heritage.com).
After the Cyprus bailout in 2013 the real main profitable industry in the island are the numerous Forex companies spread all over the Republic of Cyprus. A large number of forex companies are registered with the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) to take advantage of light regulation while allowing access to all . Many of these focus on attracting foreign customers. In one incident, a client sued the firm Easy Forex, alleging that it paid brokers bonuses when clients lost money and fined brokers when clients made a profit. An Israeli television report quoted an Easy Forex broker saying, “I had this evil grin on my face one day, when a client lost $35,000 in a quarter of an hour. A guy gets wiped out – I get my commission. A guy comes up a winner and turns a profit – I pay.”
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