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TRNC President: “Both communities have rights to wealth of Cyprus”

President Mustafa Akıncı has readdressed the likelihood of increased tensions due to the Greek Cypriot Administration’s unilateral hydrocarbon drilling in the so-called “exclusive economic zone” (EEZ) in South Cyprus, warning that “lessons should be learnt from previous experiences”.

Speaking to BRT, Akıncı stated that a “common sense” approach needs to be established on the natural gas issue, and that it should be accepted that both communities have equal rights to the natural resources and energy reserves surrounding the island of Cyprus.

Akıncı also added that this issue should be approached as an area of cooperation between Turkey and Greece, as well as the two communities on the Island.

Akıncı re-emphasized the necessity of transforming these issues from an area of tension to an area of mutual cooperation in the negotiation process, reiterating his proposal that a common committee should be formed to ensure both sides benefit from the wealth.

“However, the Greek Cypriot side still has the wrong attitude in this regard,” said Akıncı. “The Greek Cypriots have to change their mentality, and a just and permanent settlement should be established, which has not yet been achieved. Even if the Greek Cypriot side does not want to do this, intermediate agreements can be produced in the field of natural resources, in order to create opportunities for commercial partnerships.”

Asked if there was any progress towards the resumption of negotiations, Akıncı said that there were “no such development for the moment”, but that initiatives have been carried out towards  resolving these international challenges which have been led by the UN.

Source: TRNC Public Information Office