Erdogan Blames Cypriot Government for Stalled Talks

Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan has blamed the Cypriot government for mothballed peace talks on the divided island.

Erdogan, who was addressing a Ramadan fast-breaking meal organized by his ruling AK Party in the Turkish capital Ankara, claimed the “whims” of the Greek-Cypriot community were responsible for a lack of progress.

“Solving the problems of the world goes through diplomacy. But lately, this is failing. Due to the whims of the Greek Cypriot community, the distance can be bridged for a solution to the Cyprus problem,” he was quoted as saying.

His comments come as Cyprus revealed this week that French energy giant TOTAL had applied to the government to acquire a stake in Block 8 of the island’s Exclusive Economic Zone currently owned by Italy’s ENI.

It marks a renewed attempt by Nicosia to harness its offshore resources amid blocking tactics by the Turkish north of the island, backed up by Ankara’s military presence in the region.