Turkish Cypriot leader slams E. Mediterranean gas route
Mustafa Akinci says gas project which excludes Turkish Cyprus and Turkey not to contribute peace, stability in region
LEFKOSA, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus
Turkish Cypriot president on Wednesday criticized a project, which will carry eastern Mediterranean gas to Europe via Greek Cyprus, Greece, and Italy.
In a statement, Mustafa Akinci said the exclusion of Turkish Cyprus and Turkey in terms of energy resources in the eastern Mediterranean would not contribute to peace and stability in the region.
On Tuesday, Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades hosted leaders of Greece and Israel in which they agreed to push forward a project titled “East-Med”.
“This is not a peace route,” Akinci said, adding “Turkish Cypriots also have rights on the natural gas resources on the offshores of Cyprus.”
Akinci said that the “most reasonable way” to take the region’s gas to Europe was via Turkey.
He said that Greek Cypriot, Greece and Israel were to sign a deal on the project in 2018 and the European Union was financing the plan.
The Turkish Cypriot leader warned the EU by saying it was making another “mistake” after accepting solely Greek Cyprus as a member state 14 years ago.
The Greek Cypriot administration is a member of the EU and is internationally recognized by all nations except Turkey, which remains the only country that recognizes the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island's Turks, and Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power.
The Greek Cypriot side, which moved away from a solution in the island after being an EU member, will not have any motivation for a solution if they solely claim Cypriot natural gas by ensuring exclusion of Turkish Cypriots and Turkey, Akinci said.
The Greek Cypriot administration unilaterally launched exploratory drilling activities for gas in the Eastern Mediterranean despite strong opposition from Turkish Cypriot side, which argues that the island's natural resources should be exploited jointly to ensure equal rights of both peoples.
Reporting by Murat Demirci:Writing by Handan KazanciAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.