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Cypriot News Headlines 21-9-11

cyprus newsAlithia: "Nicosia expects retaliation" headlines an article saying that the government expects Turkey to start drilling for offshore hydrocarbons in the seas between it and north Cyprus. In other news, 16 athletes who used illegal performance drugs were not litigated against, said President of the Cyprus Anti-doping authority Michalis Petrou.

Simerini: "Fabulous treasures in EEZ" headlines an article saying that according to Turkish estimates, there are more than 15 trillion cubic metres of natural gas translating into seven trillion USD.

Phileleftheros: The paper says that Lebanon is following Ankara's lead and is attempting to put pressure on Nicosia over the issue of undersea hydrocarbon exploration. In other news, Cyprus has asked the EU Solidarity Fund for disaster relief of 400-800 million euros to cover damage at Vassiliko power station, damaged in the Mari naval base explosion.

Xaravgi (communist party paper): "Progress" headlines an article saying that the UN has not asked Cyprus to suspend its offshore gas exploration operations.

Turkish-Cypriot news headlines (source PIO).

BRT reports that Dervis Eroglu met with the General Secretary of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Ekmeledin Ihsanoglu. The meeting took place at the “TRNC Representation office” in New York.

The decision to be taken on Cyprus at the OIC Foreign Ministers Coordination Meeting in New York was discussed at the meeting.

Speaking to the “BRT’s correspondent” before the meeting, Ihsanoglu gave messages of support to the “TRNC”. “We want to increase our support to the TRNC and expand our relationship on a wide range of areas” he said, adding that he will be holding an official visit to the “TRNC” in November.

For his part, Eroglu said that the OIC’s interest and support towards the “TRNC” was growing every passing year.

He said that they were very pleased with final communiqués issued at the OIC Meetings and the inclusion of decisions concerning the “TRNC” in those communiqués.

Eroglu will be meeting with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as well as other foreign ministers as part of his contacts in New York.

Meanwhile the Turkish Cypriot leader’s special envoy Kudret Ozersay who is also accompanying Eroglu in New York, met with the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Lynn Pascoe.

The two exchanged views on the latest stage reached in the ongoing negotiations process, the upcoming tripartite meeting in New York later next month as well as the crisis over the hydrocarbon exploration off the coast of Cyprus.

Kibris reports that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a 1.5-hour meeting last night with the President of the United States of America Barack Obama. The meeting was held at Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York.

According to the paper, the so-called “terror incidents” in Turkey, the Cyprus problem and the issue of Palestine were mainly discussed during the meeting. Kibris cites information according to which during the meeting emphasis was put on the drilling of the Republic of Cyprus for oil and natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The paper writes that Obama expressed the US full support to Erdogan on the “struggle against terrorism” and that the steps to be taken [by Turkey] will show what kind of advices the US leader gave to the Turkish Premier.

Kibris reports also that the agreement between Turkey and the breakaway regime regarding their “continental shelf” may be signed today during the meeting between Erdogan and the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu in New York.

According to the paper, President Obama expressed his condolences for the attack organized yesterday in Ankara resulting to the death of three persons. He also described Turkey and the USA as “very strong allies” and thanked Turkey for its cooperation in Afghanistan. He further noted that they cooperate on the issue of placing a missile defense system in Turkey.

On the same issue, Ankara Anatolia news agency reports that Prime Minister Erdogan has said that the “Greek Cypriot administration's” oil and gas drilling activity in the Mediterranean was nothing but sabotaging the negotiation process between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots.

Speaking at a press conference following his meeting with US President Barack Obama in New York, Erdogan said also the following: "The Greek Cypriot administration and Israel are doing a mad thing in Mediterranean. Actually, the Greek Cypriot administration's drilling activity is nothing but sabotaging the negotiation process between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots. We are going to have a high-level strategic cooperation meeting with Greece soon. It is a step taken to sabotage the meeting. Turkish Cypriots also have rights in the Mediterranean. As a guarantor country, we will support them in their efforts to protect their rights. We can sign an agreement with the TRNC and begin gas and oil exploration activities. Our assault boats and frigates are already in the region”.

Erdogan also said: "I reiterated Turkey's determination to maintain its stance about Israel. Our relations will not go back to normal, unless Israel apologizes, pays compensation to relatives of the victims and lifts embargoes on Gaza."

"The United Nations recognized a Palestinian state in 1947. But, any step has not been taken since then. Now, this mistake should be corrected. We are going to support the Palestinian state. I hope that the United States will extend the necessary support to this end," Prime Minister Erdogan added.

Ankara Anatolia news agency reports that the 'prime ministry' of the “TRNC” has established a Watch Committee on exploration for oil and natural gas in Eastern Mediterranean.

NTVMSNBS website reports that the number of vessels of the Turkish fleet in the Mediterranean has increased.

According to the web site, at least 8 out of the 18 frigates belonging to the Turkish Naval Forces Commandership could be getting into action in the Mediterranean following the latest developments in the region. Citing information, NTVMSNBS also reports that the attention of the Turkish Naval Forces is focused at the Mediterranean due to the latest developments.

Three Turkish frigates and one submarine are participating in an operation in the Mediterranean which is coordinated by NATO, reports NTVMSNBS which goes on and cites information by Turkish daily Milliyet that following the crisis occurred with Israel, three Turkish frigates are touring around in the area and will face Israel. In addition, following the launch of drilling by the Republic of Cyprus, a Turkish seismic ship will start searching for oil in the area and it will be escorted by at least two Turkish frigates.

Kibris Postasi
news website reports that a 'TRNC' representation office has been opened in Stockholm under the name “Turkish Cypriot representation office”.

'Foreign minister' Huseyin Ozgurgun said: “We wish for the stance exhibited by Sweden to become example for all the world and primarily to the other EU member states in the direction of defending the just rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriot people and explaining our just cause”.

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