The Cyprus issue.

Until the Cyprus issue is resolved, Turkish Cypriots are interlocutors of Greek Cypriots: Hami Aksoy.
The proposals of the EU on the Cyprus issue, “which have never referred to the equal rights of the Turkish Cypriots on the island’s natural resources, are “far from serious”, said Turkish Foreign Ministry’s spokesman on June 27.
In a written statement, Hami Aksoy responded to the High Representative of the EU Josep Borrell’s proposal, which plans to bring together Turkey and the Greek Cypriot administration.

Turkey has dismissed a proposal by European Union High Representative Josep Borrell for cooperation between Turkey and the Greek Cypriots in the eastern Mediterranean as far from serious.

Borrell had also welcomed Nicosia’s offer to Ankara to negotiate in good faith the maritime delimitation between their relevant coasts. 

“The proposal is far from being serious,” Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a statement.

The proposal was made by the same EU “which always ignores the existence of the Turkish Cypriots and has never referred to their equal rights over the natural resources of the island in any of its statements,” Aksoy said.

Borrell’s statement comes during an ongoing spat between Turkey and other countries including Greece, Egypt, Israel – collaborating on a gas drilling project off the Cyprus coast. Ankara, which does not recognise Cyprus as a state, claims half of the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) on behalf of the breakaway Turkish Cypriot administration and has repeatedly carried out warship-escorted offshore drilling in the territory.

Turkey maintains that attempts by EU member Cyprus to conduct gas exploration are a violation of the rights of the Turkish Cypriots.

Stressing the solution efforts, Aksoy said if a solution is desired in the Eastern Mediterranean issue, the two peoples on the island should come together as soon as possible to establish a common cooperation mechanism for research and operation of hydrocarbon resources, including revenue sharing.

“TRNC’s proposal on July 13, 2019 provides the necessary ground for this,” he said.

He added that the limitation of maritime jurisdiction areas in the west of the Cyprus Island is possible only after the Cyprus issue is resolved.

Aksoy stressed that Turkey will never sit at the table with the Greek Cypriot administration that has usurped the title of “the Republic of Cyprus” and does not represent the Turkish Cypriots.

By Sanjida Jannat

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