TRNC Foreign Minister Özdil Nami, evaluated his visit last week to Israel on a program broadcast on BRT on Monday.
He said that the annual energy congress in Israel which he attended was important and that politicians and ambassadors from different countries and representatives of leading energy companies take part every year.
Nami said that although North Cyprus had been invited to take part in the congress last year, it was not able to do so. However, despite all the obstacles put in place by the Greek Cypriots, they were able to attend the congress this year.
He added that during the speech he delivered at one of the panel discussions at the congress, a representative from the Cypriot Energy Department left the panel, which demonstrated to those attending how the situation in Cyprus is.
“Due to this situation a variety of media organisations requested an interview which gave us the opportunity to express our views. We informed them that the Turkish Cypriots have equal rights over the islands natural resources”, Nami said.
Noting that in Israel there was a negative stance towards Turkey, he said that during the round table discussions they were able to feel the effects of this first hand. Nami also said: “No matter what agreement Israel reaches with bordering countries if it does not reach an agreement with Turkey it will not be able to sell its natural gas to Europe”.
“In order to overcome the natural gas crisis both sides should stop taking unilateral steps”, said Nami, and pointed to the importance of establishing a federal structure.
Touching upon his visit to Brussels, Nami said that both Israel’s and Cyprus’ lobbying activities in Brussels should not be underestimated.
Explaining that on Wednesday and Thursday this week a vote will be held at the European Parliament, Nami said that the Greek Cypriot side is trying to table a motion that criticises Turkey and calls for it to respect the Republic of Cyprus’ sovereign rights.
“We held important meetings regarding this issue and tried to explain the Turkish Cypriot side’s views but officials there did not show much interest”, said Nami adding that he would return to Brussels on Tuesday and continue their efforts even if their chance of success is very little.