Minister of Economy and Energy, Ozdil Nami, has said that his ministry’s priority is the issue of transferring electricity by undersea cables from Turkey is for the Turkish Cypriots to have cheaper electricity and also having renewable energy resources.
In an interview with Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Havadis’, Nami said that the ministry will take all steps for the benefit of the Turkish Cypriots and added: “The important thing for us is to be able to bring down the cost which the consumer pays. Therefore, the issues of what the cost will be and who will pay should be clearly answered. After these calculations are made together with Turkey, steps will be taken, if they are reasonable.”
Asked on how the Cyprus problem is influenced by the hydrocarbons issue, Nami said that the stagnation of the Cyprus problem does not derive from the hydrocarbons issue, but from President Anastasiades’ stance. He said:
“This issue could have ended during the Conference on Cyprus. The fact that it has not ended was Anastasiades’ decision. The reason for not having progress today in the Cyprus problem is the fact that Anastasiades did not accept a result-focused negotiating process bound by a time table. […] Anastasiades calls on our president and says ‘come to a social dinner’. However, he states that this can only be a social dinner and accepts no precondition. This is an empty approach which will lead us nowhere and it will even take the negotiations backwards. […]”
Nami also asserted that President Anastasiades uses the hydrocarbon issue to avoid negotiations and that the steps taken by the Turkish side on this issue were taken to balance the actions of the Greek Cypriot side.
Nami expressed also his concern that tension might be created because of the hydrocarbons by saying:
“When we look at the examples in the world, we see that things could quickly get out of control when hydrocarbons are the issue. On this point, as the Turkish Cypriot side, we definitely do not want tension. Tension will deal a blow to the economy of both sides of the island. A common way could be found through dialogue. Within this framework, I have stated that I was ready to meet at any platform he wants with my interlocutor in the Greek Cypriot side. They have not even replied. I said that this could be under the UN roof but they did not even condescend to reply […]”.