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Energy reserves add new twist to Cyprus talks

The negotiations over the future of Cyprus are linked to energy reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Israeli gas platforms are seen in the Mediterranean sea, some 15 miles (24 km) west of the port city of Ashdod, February 25, 2013. Israel's huge new offshore gas resource offers its enemies an obvious target and gives its navy, long overshadowed by other branches of the Israeli armed forces, a big job that will require extra spending. Picture taken February 25, 2013. REUTERS/Amir Cohen (ISRAEL - Tags: MILITARY ENERGY BUSINESS POLITICS MARITIME) - RTXY5G1

Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders resumed talks on Feb. 11, in a fresh effort to try and resolve the Cyprus problem of over 50 years' standing. These talks follow a hiatus of a year and a half, and are the result of a forceful intervention by Washington, which has taken the lead again in efforts to reunite the divided island.

Diplomats and analysts indicate that given current developments in the Middle East, a settlement on Cyprus will also contribute to stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, and argue this is one of the reasons behind the current US intervention. There also exists a much better atmosphere between Turkey and Greece today, with the two countries appearing to have put knee-jerk nationalism aside, which increases the prospect for a settlement to the Cyprus problem.

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