TRNC Presidential Statement
President Ersin Tatar: “Israeli natural gas could pass through Northern Cyprus”
Any natural gas to be piped to Europe from Israel or Egypt could pass through Northern Cyprus due to its technical feasibility and plans to cut the continent’s reliance on Russia, President Ersin Tatar said.
President Tatar, who spoke to Turkey’s Milliyet newspaper during the Antalya Diplomacy Forum (ADF) held on March 11-13, made the remarks whilst being asked to evaluate the impact of the Russia-Ukraine war with regards to piping natural gas from the eastern Mediterranean to the continent.
“Northern Cyprus will most definitely be included if natural gas is going to be piped from Israeli and Egyptian offshore fields. The route of such a pipeline will need to pass through the maritime jurisdiction areas of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. It is much easier to go through North Cyprus, which is only 65km away from Turkey. This will no doubt have a positive impact on the political settlement process” President Tatar said.
President Tatar reminded that the EastMed pipeline project had been effectively shelved and that there were plans by the EU to explore “alternative” energy sources in order to be less reliant on Russia.
Hence, the President said that it would be technically feasible for the EU to make use of natural gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean, where he said: “Israeli-Egyptian energy pipeline route will need to touch the Karpaz peninsula. Even if the pipeline route does not pass directly over the island, the TRNC will most definitely be involved in some capacity because it will pass through the maritime jurisdiction of the TRNC, and this will also pave the way for new investments and bring about more development.”
President Tatar underlined that the 13th July 2019 proposal of the Turkish Cypriot side for the establishment of a Joint Committee composed of Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot representatives to work together on cooperation and coordination of off-shore exploration and exploitation activities is still on the table. Such a Joint Committee could be facilitated by the UN where the EU and 2 independent experts can take part as observers.
President Tatar also stated that there are good links between Turkish Cypriots and the Israelis. “Israelis are close to us anyway. There are many Israeli investors in our country. They are even going to build a synagogue; they also own a marina in the TRNC.”
Source: Presidency of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus