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Greek Cypriots sign contracts for hydrocarbon exploration ignoring Turkish Cypriot rights


Press Releases have been issued by the Turkish Foreign Ministry and the TRNC Foreign Ministry regarding hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation of the Island’s natural resources.

Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a press release regarding the Greek Cypriot Administration’s signing of exploration and exploitation contracts with a number of hydrocarbon companies

The Turkish Foreign Ministry has stated that both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side desire a negotiated settlement on the island, however the only way to utilize the island’s natural resources prior to a comprehensive settlement would be through arrangements for the joint exploitation of the resources with the consent of the Turkish Cypriot side and the fair sharing of potential revenues.

In the written statement issued by the Ministry, it was underlined  that the Greek Cypriot side has signed exploration and exploitation contracts with a number of international hydrocarbon companies and consortiums on the 5th and 6th of April in defiance of the rights of the Turkish Cypriots.

It was also emphasized that the persistent behaviour of the Greek Cypriot side as the sole owner of the island and continued unilateral activities are not acceptable, particularly in a period when they should be demonstrating strong political will towards establishing a new partnership with the Turkish Cypriot people.

The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs underlined that they are in agreement with the points mentioned by the TRNC Foreign Ministry and that they share the concerns and outrage felt by the Turkish Cypriot side.

The full text issued by the Turkish Foreign Ministry is as follows:

“It will be recalled that in the past, we have also repeatedly drawn attention to the problematic nature of activities carried out by hydrocarbon companies in maritime areas over which the Turkish Cypriots have rights. Furthermore, a significant segment of one of the relevant areas, namely block number 6, falls within Turkey’s continental shelf. Foreign companies shall never, under any conditions, be permitted to carry out unauthorized hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation activities in our maritime jurisdiction areas.

Companies cooperating with the Greek Cypriot Administration on its unilateral hydrocarbon activities are disregarding the will of the Turkish Cypriots, the Island’s other founding people. This stance will also be taken into consideration when evaluating their future involvement in joint energy projects with Turkey. On the other hand, it should be kept in mind that following a settlement, the sides constituting the new state will jointly assess the validity of agreements signed with the Greek Cypriot Administration in the field of energy.

Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side desire a negotiated settlement on the Island of Cyprus. The only way to utilize the Island’s natural resources prior to a comprehensive settlement, on the other hand, would be through arrangements for the joint exploitation of the resources with the consent of the Turkish Cypriot side and the fair sharing of potential revenues.

We reiterate our call on the Greek Cypriot side to take into consideration the inalienable rights of the Turkish Cypriot people, their future political partners, on the Island’s natural resources, and to cease any unilateral activities that could lead to a failure of the efforts aiming towards a comprehensive solution.

We strongly emphasize that Turkey will continue to take all necessary measures to protect its rights and interests in its continental shelf as well as the rights and interests of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.”

TRNC Foreign Ministry issued a press release regarding the illegal hydrocarbon exploration activities of the Greek Cypriot Administration in the Eastern Mediterranean

“The Greek Cypriot Administration continues to cause irreparable damage to the negotiation process with its unilateral initiatives which has already been destroyed as a result of the Enosis decision. The most recent example of this is the Greek Cypriot Administration’s illegal hydrocarbon exploration activities carried out in the Eastern Mediterranean, in complete disregard of the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people. The Greek Cypriot Administration has finalised its negotiations with foreign companies that submitted bids for hydrocarbon exploration in three blocks allegedly situated in its so-called Exclusive Economic Zone. The contracts with the related companies will be signed today and tomorrow, which in turn indicates the Greek Cypriot Administration’s insistence on refusing the equal rights of the Turkish Cypriots as the co-owners of the island.

The aforementioned initiative is devoid of good will and contradicts with the equal and legitimate rights of the Turkish Cypriot people on the maritime zone and natural resources of the island as well as the decision making of matters related to the exploration, extraction and processing of the hydrocarbon resources. Such initiatives of the Greek Cypriot side that disregard the Turkish Cypriot side are not acceptable.

The Turkish Cypriot side maintains that until a comprehensive settlement is reached, all kinds of activities regarding the natural resources located around the island must either be suspended or carried out through reconciliation and mutual cooperation.

The attitude of the Greek Cypriot side intends to violate our rights, threatening the stability of the region and cannot be accepted. It is beyond doubt that we will take all the necessary steps to protect our rights and interests in cooperation with Turkey, as the Guarantor country.

It is once again proven that the Greek Cypriot side’s approach that rejects the Turkish Cypriot side as the co-owner of the island remains as the most important impediment to reaching a durable and comprehensive settlement on the island.”

Source: TRNC Public Information Office –

To read more news and information from the TRNC Ministry of Foreign Affairs, please click here

Pictures shown are courtesy of the TRNC Public Information Office Facebook page.

 

 

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