Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay has stated that any economic activity carried out in the region which ignores the will of the Turkish Cypriots will not be successful, adding, “We will not allow either the Greek Cypriots or affiliated companies to carry out unilateral hydrocarbon activities on behalf of the Turkish Cypriots.”
In his interviews with The Times and AFP News Agency, Foreign Minister Özersay evaluated the disputes over hydrocarbon resources in the Eastern Mediterranean. Özersay said that although the dispute on the hydrocarbon issue had led to a deterioration in relations with the Greek Cypriot side, this issue also helped the Turkish Cypriots to force them to make a separate agreement resolving the issue of the equal sharing of resources.
In his interview with The Times, Özersay said that the hydrocarbons dispute had led to a deterioration in relations with South Cyprus, as well as pitting Turkey against the EU. Özersay emphasised that the Turkish Cypriot side had chosen the appropriate tools to de-escalate the row, having made repeated efforts to reach a diplomatic solution in the days before Turkey sent its warships.
“Our message was clear: our purpose is not to warm up the waters of the Eastern Mediterranean but to cool them down,” Özersay said.
Minister Özersay also denied suggestions that Turkish Cypriot side was merely following Ankara’s will and added that creating a discourse which blames Turkey was the easiest method.
Source: TRNC Public Information Office