Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay sent letters to US Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo and US Minister of Defence Mark Esper.
In his letter, Özersay responded to the groundless claims of American Congress members Frank Pallone, Gus Bilirakis and Carolyn Maloney, who are known for their closeness to the Greek Cypriot Administration and Greece, in their letters to the Secretary of State and Minister of Defence regarding the natural gas drilling works around the Island of Cyprus. Özersay stated that Turkish Cypriots are equal partners of the natural resources on and around the Island of Cyprus therefore the decisions on the natural gas issue should be taken by the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots jointly.
Stressing that despite all warnings from the Turkish Cypriot side, the Greek Cypriot side has been continuing their unilateral and illegal activities since the year 2000, Özersay said that the reason for the tension in the Island is the provocative attitude of the Greek Cypriot side. Adding that an agreement for delimitation of the continental shelf has been signed with Turkey and an authority to conduct drilling has been given to the Turkish Petroleum Corporation to protect the rights and interests of the TRNC, Özersay pointed out that the Turkish Cypriot side also submitted proposals to the Greek Cypriot side to have cooperation on the issue of natural gas in 2011, 2012 and 2019 but the Greek Cypriot side refused these proposals. Expressing that the mentality of the Greek Cypriot side has caused deadlock of the Cyprus problem for 52 years, Özersay underlined that the support of the international community, as the American Congress members did, encourages the intransigent attitude of the Greek Cypriots.
Furthermore, in his letter, Özersay stressed that he will continue to defend solving all issues including the hydrocarbon issue with cooperation, diplomacy and dialogue.
Source: TRNC Public information Office