Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has stated that Turkey and the government of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus have strongly opposed any “unilateral move by the Greek-Cypriot administration to explore any hydrocarbon resources around the island” and added that “natural resources of the island should be exploited in a fair manner, because the Turkish Cypriots also have the right to the oil and gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean”.
He also stated that “the Turkish Cypriot government maintains its firm stand that the resources of the island of Cyprus belong to both communities and that the Turkish Cypriots will not give up their rights to those resources”.
Cavusoglu pointed out that both Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration are undergoing political change, “This is the biggest obstacle to constructive steps for the politicians in both countries.” (Anatolia News Agency)
Covering the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Afrika’ reports that Cavusoglu, in his interview with Anatolia News Agency, reiterated Turkey’s proposal on the issue of exploitation the natural wealth in Cyprus. He said that they had proposed the establishment a joint committee, but the Greek Cypriot side had rejected it by saying that this means recognition of the TRNC. Cavusoglu added that they proposed the establishment of a private committee, which was also rejected.
He went on to say that now Greece had also stepped in and wondered how they can find solution with Athens. He added:
“First, let us put an additional article into the joint declaration of February 11. Then let us resume the negotiations and let us finish this job. We accept this. Let us deposit the right of the Turkish Cypriot people into a trust account under the protection of the UN or the World Bank. We accept these, as long as we find a solution. However, once more the Greek Cypriot side did not pass the sincerity test. We hope that they will soon understand their mistake and we will find a solution. The negotiations will continue too.”