- Özersay spoke to Deutsche Welle: “We are determining the point of drilling” ….
- Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Criticised UNSC Resolution ….
- UNSC urges “return to Cyprus negotiations” ….
Özersay spoke to Deutsche Welle: “We are determining the point of drilling”
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay made a statement regarding the vessel Barbaros’ starting to conduct seismic survey on the sites declared by the TRNC in the south of Cyprus.
Özersay said: “We are now doing what we have said before. We have now reached the stage of drilling, thus we will determine the point of drilling. For this reason, the vessel Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha has arrived at F and G licensed regions which were previously announced by the TRNC in order to conduct seismic survey. The drilling will be carried out in the areas to be determined after this study. We will determine the exact location of the drilling which will be conducted by the Turkish Petroleum Corporation, TPAO. The exploration to be carried out in the name of the TRNC will not be done just for the sake of drilling, it will be conducted at a point where there is a high probability of finding natural gas.
Deputy Prime Minister Özersay said: “As the TRNC, we have identified and declared some sites not only in the north of the island but also in the south, just the same as the Greek Cypriot side has done. We gave TPAO a license to excavate as a company on behalf of the TRNC, just as the Greek Cypriot administration has granted licenses to ENI and EXXON companies. Now we will determine the locations and start drilling, just as the Greek Cypriot administration has done.
Pointing out the fact that the proposal of the Turkish Cypriot side concerning a cooperation between the two sides on the issue of natural gas before a comprehensive solution, is still valid, Özersay said: “We do not want the issue of natural gas to be a matter of confrontation and we know that if we sit and talk about this before a solution, then the Eastern Mediterranean region will become a much more stable region. Since the development of trade and cooperation among all the actors in this region will create a mutual dependence, no one will be able to take the risk of the possibility of a conflict after that point. We think that cooperation and interdependence are essential for peace in the region and our proposal is still valid.”
Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs Criticised UNSC Resolution
Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs criticised the most recent UN Security Council resolution on the extension of the mandate of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) for a period of six months yesterday (30th January).
In the statement made, the Ministry pointed out that in this most recent resolution, the UN Security Council has adopted a position which goes beyond the UN Secretary-General’s views.
In the statement it has been said : ‘In both reports submitted to the Security Council on his Mission of Good Offices in Cyprus dated 15 October 2018 and his latest report on the UN operations in Cyprus dated 11 January 2019, the UN Secretary-General had emphasized the need for new ideas, without referring to a specific settlement model. Despite this fact, in this most recent resolution, the UN Security Council has adopted a position which goes beyond the UN Secretary-General’s views. Moreover, the UN Security Council has voiced prejudgments regarding the result of the ongoing contacts by the UN Official assigned on a temporary basis by the UN Secretary-General and the possible future shape of the settlement process. In this respect, this resolution does not make a realistic contribution to the efforts towards the settlement of the Cyprus issue. Furthermore, it is not compatible with the above-mentioned reports of the UN Secretary-General.
On the other hand, the fact that the UNFICYP’s mandate has been extended without the consent of the authorities of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, in contrast to the established practice of the UN, is another important deficiency of the resolution.’
The Ministry mentioned that the Conference on Cyprus had closed without an outcome in Crans Montana in July 2017 due to the intransigent attitude of the Greek Cypriots who consider themselves as the sole owners of the Island and the Turkish Cypriots as a minority. In addition the Ministry said ‘we maintain our view that if a new negotiation process will be launched, it should be result-oriented and all the parameters of the process should be determined beforehand, and in this regard, without excluding the option of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federal settlement based on political equality, all alternative models should be on the table. We think that any process in the future periods can only be successful if it takes the present realities and the political equality of the two sides on the island into consideration.’
UNSC urges “return to Cyprus negotiations”
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) called on the two community leaders and related parties to return to “open, creative, active and meaningful” negotiations for the solution of the Cyprus problem.
The resolution to extend the mandate of the UNFICYP mission in Cyprus for another 6 months was unanimously approved by the UNSC.
The UNSC extended the UNFICYP mandate until July 31, 2019, on the grounds that “the UN Peacekeeping mission was needed” on the island.
In the resolution, the UNSC also called on the leaders of the two communities and the related parties to return to “open, creative, active and meaningful” negotiations under the UN auspices for a lasting, comprehensive and just solution based on a bicommunal, bizonal federation with political equality in Cyprus.
UNFICYP which is one of the UN’s longest-running peacekeeping missions has been on the island since 1964 and its mandate is extended every 6 months.