Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay made a call to the international community to take action on the issue of natural gas.
Attending the 46th OIC Foreign Ministers Council Meeting in Abu Dhabi, Özersay said that we have reached a point of no return regarding the natural gas around the Island of Cyprus.
Pointing out that every state which pays attention to peace and stability in the region will not, and should not, remain unresponsive to the latest developments, Özersay said either they will become involved and persuade the Greek Cypriot side to sit at the negotiation table on the issue of natural gas or the Turkish Cypriot side will protect their own rights with the steps to be taken.
Expressing that cooperation between the two sides on the issue of natural gas will be the most rational attitude both in terms of the future of Cyprus and peace in the region, Özersay made a statement about the fund launched in the Greek Cypriot side on the issue of natural gas.
In his statement, Özersay stressed that if the Greek Cypriot side is given permission to unilaterally use the wealth which also belongs to the Turkish Cypriots, the unwillingness of the Greek Cypriot side to share the wealth will be more fueled.
Furthermore, regarding the natural gas fund launched with the law concluded the previous day in South Cyprus, Özersay said:
“This fund is not what it is required to be. This fund will only serve the interests of the Greek Cypriots, even if a different image is being sought. Even though it cannot be spent on public debt, an international fund which would be administered both by Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots would have to be created, instead of this fund which can only be used for various expenditures within the budget of the Greek Cypriot state. This opportunity hasn’t been missed yet. As a result of the drilling to be carried out around the whole island, all of the resources to be extracted can be collected in a single international fund and can be used for investments in both Southern Cyprus and Northern Cyprus in the interest of both Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots. I believe that companies that are licensed by both parties may be involved either in the establishment or management of an international fund. For me, the way out is that it is urgent to establish an international fund on natural gas and start to administer this fund cooperatively. No one should try to deceive us with the statement that the investments to be made can also be used by the Turkish Cypriots”
Calling on the Greek Cypriot political leadership to cooperate on natural gas as soon as possible, instead of usurping the rights of the Turkish Cypriots with unilateral arrangements, Özersay said: “We know very well what the Greek Cypriot administration has done in the past on the compensation for use of the Turkish Cypriot properties remaining in the south. There is no fund to accumulate compensation and also the use of such a fund by the Turkish Cypriots has been postponed after a comprehensive settlement by the Greek administration unilaterally. As a result, we have seen this scenario regarding our rights to be protected through a fund before.”