Anadolu Agency

Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus FM Ozdil Nami hopes the Greek Cypriot administration revisits path of negotiations after April 19 elections.

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has again invited the Greek Cypriot administration to reopen negotiations over the Cyprus issue.

Speaking to The Anadolu Agency Friday, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus Foreign Minister Ozdil Nami hoped that the Greek Cypriot administration head, Nikos Anastasiadis, would revisit the path of negotiations after the upcoming presidential elections on April 19.

“The Greek Cypriot administration has seen the international community’s reaction when they left the negotiation table. We expect the Greek leader to return to the table after reevaluating developments on the ground,” Ozdil said.

About the issue of exploration of hydrocarbons around the disputed area of the island, he said: “We will not allow the issue of hydrocarbons to be used as a trump card against the Turkish people. I think the Greek leader has understood this point clearly,” he said.

Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus government have strongly opposed any “unilateral” move of the Greek Cypriot administration to explore hydrocarbon resources around the island, saying its natural resources should be exploited in a fair manner under a united Cyprus.

The Turkish Cypriot government has already repeated its firm stance on many occasions that the resources of the island of Cyprus belong to both communities and that the Turkish Cypriots will not give up their rights on those resources.

Ozdil also stressed that the Greek Cypriot leader did not abide by an agreement reached between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders in a joint declaration on Feb. 11, 2014.

“The main reason for the halt in progress of the talks is that the Greek Cypriot leader did not respect the obtained rapprochement, so far,” he said.

Negotiations between Turkish and Greek-Cypriots had resumed after a two-year pause in February 2013 with a joint declaration outlining the details of a reunited island after the previous round of talks collapsed, partly because of the Eurozone debt crisis.

However, the Greek Cypriot administration suspended the most recent talks on Oct. 7 after Turkey sent a ship to explore oil and gas off the island’s coast.

Cyprus has remained divided into Greek and Turkish parts since a Greek Cypriot coup to unite the island with Greece was followed by a Turkish peace mission to aid Turkish Cypriots in the north in 1974.