President Mustafa Akıncı has stated that, despite the Greek Cypriot side not being ready for a comprehensive settlement on the Cyprus questions, there is an urgent need for them to come to a compromise with Turkish Cypriots on the issue of natural gas.

By continuing their unilateral drilling and exploration activities, they will leave the Turkish Cypriot side no other option than to launch their own hydrocarbon explorations in cooperation with Turkey.

“This wealth is common,” said President Akıncı, adding “It does not belong exclusively to the Greek Cypriot side.”

The President was speaking about the latest developments regarding the Greek Cypriots’ unilateral hydrocarbon-related activities in the Eastern Mediterranean on CNN Turk.

President Akıncı commented that the starting point for many of the problems and intractable issues in Cyprus was the perception amongst some of the Greek Cypriot side that they had a greater or sole claim to everything on the island. Their repeated attempts to claim all of the natural gas petrol reserves in the shared Economic Zone (EEZ) is yet another unfortunate example of this mentality.

President Akıncı drew parallels with the manner with which the Greek Cypriots seized ownership of the Cyprus Republic in 1963 by excluding Turkish Cypriots from the agreement and their current attempts to unjustly extend the limits of sovereignty and take sole possession of the shared natural resources of the Eastern Mediterranean.

Stating that the Greek Cypriot side should give up their untenable policies that are not solution-oriented, and instead actively contribute to a lasting and fair settlement on the island, President Akıncı emphasised, “What needs to be done is to turn this from an area of controversy to an area of cooperation.”

President Akıncı said that during the Cyprus negotiations in previous months, he had repeatedly warned the Greek Cypriot side of the potential increase in tensions, and proposed the creation of a bi-communal committee to jointly explore these common resources in cooperation. The response of the Greek Cypriot side to this proposal was to assert that this issue was non-negotiable, and to repeat that these resources were solely a concern of “their own jurisdiction.”

President Akıncı highlighted the Greek Cypriot Administration’s recent overtures Egypt, Israel, and Jordan, and noted that the Greek Cypriot side, in cooperation with Greece, was currently exploiting the deterioration of Turkey’s relations with some countries in the region.

Akıncı expressed concerns that the Greek Cypriot side would use this issue to try to bring Turkey into conflict with other significant regional and international powers.

Source: TRNC Public Information Office