UNITED NATIONS, October 23 (RIA Novosti) - UN Secretary-General expressed concern over the stalled negotiations to resolve disputes between the Greek and Turkish communities in Cyprus and over the recent escalation of tensions between Cyprus and Turkey in his statement Thursday.
After meeting with his Special Adviser on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon "expressed concern over the tensions that have arisen in relation to hydrocarbons and over the suspension of negotiations," the statement says.
Commenting on the suspension of talks by Cyprus in response to Turkey's decision to begin seismic surveys in the exclusive economic zone of the island, Ban Ki-Moon "stressed the need for all concerned parties to de-escalate the situation, so as to avoid any further instability in an already volatile region."
Ban also "underscored the need for the parties in Cyprus to return to the negotiating table without delay. He further called on countries of the region to help create a conducive environment for productive talks," the statement says.
Turkey has previously said that on October 20, it will begin the exploration of oil and gas in an area, the right for exploration for which was given to the Italian ENI and Korean Kogas energy companies. On Monday, the Turkish research vessel Barbarossa accompanied by a warship entered the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus. In early October, due to Turkey's plans, President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades broke off talks on Cyprus settlement. Turkey's actions were condemned by many countries.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded the north in response to a military coup on the island backed by Greece. Turkey is the only state that has recognized the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state.