The reaction of the Greek Cypriot Administration following Turkey’s Note Verbal to the United Nations informing them of the “Agreement on the Delimitation of the Continental Shelf in the Mediterranean” signed between the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the Republic of Turkey amounts to nothing more than a unilateral declaration of will and carries no meaning.
The natural resources of Cyprus belong to the two peoples of the Island. It is high time the Greek Cypriot Administration comprehends that as long as they continue their unilateral actions vis-a-vis the natural resources of the Island, they have no right of objection in respect to any action taken by the Turkish Cypriots in order to protect their rights and interests over the Island’s natural resources and additionally they should abandon their well known attitude of disregarding the reality that Turkish Cypriots as co-owners of the Island, also possess every right the Greek Cypriots are deemed to have.
The “Continental Shelf Delimitation Agreement” signed between the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the Republic of Turkey on 21 September 2011 was entirely the consequence of the Greek Cypriot side’s commencement to drill on 19 September 2011 in total disregard of the existence of Turkish Cypriots. The Agreement was a step to protect the legitimate rights and interests of Turkish Cypriots. The activities ensuing from this Agreement will in no manner adversely affect the ongoing comprehensive settlement negotiations. This is evident from the determination, sincere and strong support we have given the negotiation process with a view to reaching a fair and comprehensive settlement without further delay based on UN parameters.
The Turkish Cypriot people, being the equal partner of the Greek Cypriots, has equal and inherent rights over the exploration, extraction and administration of the natural resources that exist within the maritime jurisdiction areas of the Island. As an indication of our belief that the solution of the hydrocarbon issue can be reached through mutual dialogue and goodwill, the Turkish Cypriot side submitted to the Greek Cypriot side through the United Nations Secretary General on 24 September 2011 and 29 September 2012 constructive proposals in respect of the equitable sharing of the natural resources of the Island between the two sides. However these proposals were rejected by the Greek Cypriots who despite the ongoing negotiation process continue their unilateral activites without any change.
The Greek Cypriot authorities persistently continue to disregard the rights of the Turkish Cypriots by carrying on their exploration/extraction activities. Besides not putting these activities on hold, the Greek Cypriot authorities have announced to international companies that there shall be new drilling activities within the year 2014. In spite of all these unilateral steps, the latest objection made to the United Nations by the Greek Cypriot side regarding the seismic exploration activities carried out by TPAO (Turkish Petroleum Company) in the licensed fields authorized by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is an unacceptable approach.
We hereby once again invite the Greek Cypriot Administration to take constructive steps with a view to reach a sustainable and comprehensive settlement on the Island and to contribute towards finding a common platform established though mutual agreement regarding the exploration/exploitation of hydrocarbons until a comprehensive settlement is reached on the Island.
5 May 2014,