Cyprus promises to share gas proceeds with Turkish north

September 22, 2011 19:27

NICOSIA - Cyprus said on Thursday it was willing to share the benefits of any gas find with Turkish Cypriots before reaching a peace deal on the ethnically split island, in an apparent attempt to calm tensions with Turkey over Mediterranean energy reserves.

Greek Cypriots and their US partner Noble Energy started drilling south of the island for gas this week, incurring the wrath of Turkey, which says such a move deprives Turkish Cypriots of their right to a share of the proceeds.

Speaking in New York, Cypriot President Demetris Christofias said he wanted both Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities to benefit from any find.

"My message to Turkey and to the Turkish Cypriots is to find a solution as soon as possible, but as President I guarantee that even before a solution ...that if we have revenue, we will see in which way we can use the revenues for the benefit of the two communities. That must be very clear," Christofias said, according to an official statement.

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