The Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement in reaction to the Republic of Cyprus’ explorations in the maritime area of the Mediterranean, in particular at the area that Nicosia has labeled “plot 3”.
The statement reads:
“Despite the warnings, the Greek Cypriot Government is continuing unilateral investigations for the identification of hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean. And it does so by disregarding the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people, who have rights to the natural resources of the island. In this context, we have recently noticed that there is an intention to begin activities in block 3 of the so-called EEZ of the Greek Cypriot administration. Turkey shares the legitimate concerns of the Turkish Cypriot people on the matter and supports the announcement issued by the Foreign Ministry of the ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ on February 10. As we have repeatedly stressed in the past, we will not only continue to protect our rights and interests, but we are determined to take the necessary steps alongside the ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’, in the framework of our support for the Turkish Cypriot side. The sole responsibility for any situation that may arise would lie with the Greek Cypriot side, which, instead of working towards a just and lasting settlement in Cyprus, insists on behaving as if it were the sole owner of the island and on the continuation of the research for the identification of hydrocarbons. This attitude of the Greek Cypriot side, which does not hesitate to undermine irresponsibly the security and stability of the Eastern Mediterranean, is in fact the main reason why the negotiations on the Cyprus problem have failed and have not led to any results for half a century.
It is also reminded that during the Cyprus Conference last year, Greek Cypriots demonstrated once again their unwillingness to accept a cooperation with the Turkish Cypriots on the basis of equality policy and that is why the Conference was concluded without an agreement. And as long as the Greek Cypriot government continues its unilateral actions on the issue of hydrocarbons, it remains clear how far the Greek Cypriot side is to considering the Turkish Cypriots as equal partners.
We also take this opportunity to stress that, according to our expectations, companies located in third countries should refrain from providing support through their cooperation with the Greek Cypriot Government in the hydrocarbon region. As such, they will not provide support to the deconstructive attitude of the Greek Cypriot side, which is at the same time a major obstacle to the settlement of the Cyprus problem”./IBNA