Speaking on a TV program on BRTK TV, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay discussed the latest developments regarding natural gas exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean and the initiatives the Turkish Cypriot side has taken.

Özersay stated that the government’s foreign policy objective was to enhance the visibility of the TRNC, as well as to defend and promote the Turkish Cypriot people’s rights and interests on different platforms, adding that these efforts included “being in contact with new international players”.

Özersay said that oil and gas companies have played a key role in recent developments, and that transnational companies are key actors in modern international relations.

He added that the Turkish Cypriot side is adopting a diplomatic approach, and is using deterrence to resolve the hydrocarbons crisis.

“Everyone should know and understand that the government will use positive diplomacy as much as it can. We launched a diplomatic initiative in order to cool the waters, not to heat them up. There is nothing to gain here from raising tensions,” said Özersay.

The Minister further stated that the Turkish Cypriot side had taken a determined stance in light of the latest developments, in order to avoid escalating tensions.

On the Cyprus issue, Özersay said, “Continuing the negotiations in the same way would mean allowing the Greek Cypriots to keep claiming to be the sole owners of the island, and further strengthening the status quo.”