Both the Cyprus problem and problems related to hydrocarbon exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean remained unresolved due to the Greek Cypriot Administration’s reluctance to reach an agreement despite Turkey’s and the TRNC’s constructive proposals and stance, the Turkish Ambassador to Rome Murat, Salim Esenli has said.
The ambassador who was speaking to the Italian press in Rome about Turkey’s moves to block the progress of Saipem 12000 which operates on behalf of the Italian Energy Company ENI argued:
“The Greek Cypriot administration has been reluctant about reaching an agreement not only because it is recognised by the international community but also because it was allowed to join the EU on its own in 2014. Moreover the Greek Cypriot side has dragged international companies into the dispute in an attempt to strengthen its hand against Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots, signing unilateral agreements in the process. We warned our friends and partners against these unilateral agreements. This issue goes back all the way to 2006.”
Esenli went on to say that tensions had risen after the Greek Cypriot administration and involved parties had ignored the Turkish side’s warnings, and argued:
“Coming to the issue of SAIPEM 12000. This is an incident which emerged after our warnings were ignored. It is my hope that Italy will continue the support has shown for a settlement in Cyprus. If this problem is solved, the hydrocarbons around the island will benefit everyone, not only the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots but Europe in general. In the end, the steps we have taken are not aimed at Italy. However, should the companies of other countries attempt to proceed in the same manner we shall have the same reaction.”