Regrettably, the Greek Cypriot side is continuing its unilateral, unlawful and unjust activities which disregard the rights of the Turkish Cypriots over the natural resources in the Eastern Mediterranean. As the TRNC, it has now become inevitable to take concrete steps within the framework which we have previously declared. There should be no doubt that, in the face of the Greek Cypriot mentality which is not ready to share power and wealth with the Turkish Cypriots on the Island of Cyprus, we will not stand idly but commence works towards the steps to realize our rights.  This stance has clearly shown that the Greek Cypriot leadership, which calls for the resumption of talks from where they were left off, has a serious weakness concerning sharing of wealth, one of the requisites of a federal partnership. The fact that our numerous calls to jointly manage and exploit these resources have remained unanswered will result in the missing of yet another opportunity. This situation has rendered it unavoidable for the Turkish Cypriot side to commence drilling activities in the areas it has licensed.

As known, the Greek Cypriot administration and USA have signed a letter of intent for cooperation last week. It is understood that the said letter contains provisions regarding the strengthening of bilateral relations between the two countries on border and maritime security, fight against terrorism as well as regional stability. We would like to express that this document, which the Greek Cypriot administration has signed under the guise of the “Republic of Cyprus”, is not binding on the Turkish Cypriot side in any way and is, therefore, considered null and void.

It is apparent that the Greek Cypriot side, by way of signing this letter, is attempting to include the USA in the alliance created by the trilateral cooperation agreement it has signed with Israel and Egypt. This approach constitutes yet another example of the insistence of the Greek Cypriot side to ignore the equal rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriot side – its main counterpart – over the natural resources of the island and has, once again, shown its true intention in this regard.

The Greek Cypriot administration, whilst continuously rejecting the cooperation proposal made for years by the Turkish Cypriot side regarding natural gas, is continuing its unilateral activities in the Eastern Mediterranean by way of the agreements it has reached with Israel and Egypt and now attempting to include the USA into this process. Unfortunately, this situation threatens the security and stability both on the island and in the region. As the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we invite the countries and companies involved in this issue to act in good sense, taking into consideration the realities of the island.  We wish to reiterate that we will not stand idly by in the face of these developments which amount to violation of the rights of the Turkish Cypriot people, and that we have initiated the necessary steps against this move which affects the future of our people.