OPPOSITION parties have built quite a convincing case in support of their claim that the government had reached an agreement with the Turkish side over the termination of the exploratory drilling for hydrocarbons that allowed the resumption of the talks. For months, they had been speculating there had been an agreement for the drilling to stop in exchange for Turkey not renewing its Navtex and sending the Barbaros on exploratory trips in the Cypriot EEZ. The government always denied there had been such a deal.
However, questions were asked when it was reported that the Italian company ENI was to start exploratory drills in the EEZ of Egypt bordering that of Cyprus. ENI had stopped its drilling in the Cypriot EEZ, shortly before the resumption of the talks, on the grounds that drilling equipment needed maintenance. At about the same time, the Barbaros withdrew from the Cypriot EEZ and Turkey’s Navtex was not renewed. Since then, reports of a deal have appeared in the Turkish press but were denied by the Anastasiades government.
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