Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Kudret Özersay made a speech at the Atlantic Council, which is one of the leading institutions on security and natural richness, within the framework of his contacts in the US capital, Washington. Özersay evaluated the issues of the future of the Cyprus problem and natural gas resources in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Stating that it is not the right approach to link every problem to the deadlock which has been continuing for half a century and currently postponed, Özersay said “We should be able to start cooperating without waiting for a solution on the issues of natural gas, extradition of criminals, the fight against black money, terrorism and similar issues in the Eastern Mediterranean”.

Özersay indicated that to start cooperating without waiting for a solution would create an environment of confidence between the two sides in real terms.

Özersay also pointed out the importance of cooperation without waiting for a solution between the parties in Cyprus in terms of regional peace and stability. Stating that there are two important factors for cooperation between the parties, Özersay said: “The first one is that all parties need this cooperation. This is not available in all issues today. However, there are some issues where the need for cooperation cannot be denied. For example, the fight against terrorism or extradition of criminals.

Özersay identified the second important factor for cooperation as the two parties need to show flexibility and behave pragmatically. Özersay stated that the two parties cooperated previously in the electric issue in 2011. In his speech at the Atlantic Council, Özersay underlined that the aim of the Greek Cypriot side not to cooperate in the natural gas issue is because of the approach of the international community.

Today (10th January), Özersay will continue his contacts in Washington.