In his statement to Diyalog newspaper, Foreign Minister Özdil Nami stated that the world has recognized that the hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean will not be able to be used until the Cyprus problem is resolved, and that it has also recognized the intransigent stance of the Greek Cypriot side in relation to the resolution of the Cyprus problem. For this reason, Minister Nami expressed that the process to uplift the isolation imposed on the Turkish Cypriots has commenced. Nami stated: “By repeatedly entering into tactical games, flirting with Russia and Israel and attempting to sign agreements with Egypt regarding the hydrocarbons rather than treating the Turkish Cypriots as their counterparts at the negotiation table and concluding the negotiation process based on the principle of mutual interests, the win-win approach to the process is being transformed into a lose-lose scenario. It is not possible for us to accept this.”
Visit to Brussels and Hellim
Indicating that during his contacts in Brussels Minister Nami reminded the relevant parties of their promises to the Turkish Cypriots, Nami expressed their desire for the continuation of the interest of the Commissioner for Enlargement towards the Turkish Cypriots. Nami added that positive messages were given regarding the hellim issue.
Stating that they were received very well during their visits to member countries of the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), Minister Nami expressed that these countries are concerned about the close relations developing between the Greek Cypriot side and Israel. Nami stated “As soon as the Greek Cypriot side heard about our planned visits to the region, they made initiatives to either prevent the visits or engage in similar contacts to even the score. We were met with greater attention than expected. The visit to the OIC member countries were exceedingly positive in terms of our reception by high-level officials, and our visits to Oman and Qatar in terms of official meetings and bilateral relations. We have started working on ways to pave the way for investments from these countries. The developing bilateral relations between the Greek Cypriot side and Israel have been the cause of concern in these countries. They believe that they should be balanced. These countries have much experience regarding hydrocarbons. They are prepared to share their experience with the Turkish Cypriot side. They would like to be involved in the cooperation that will develop in the future. They consider us a natural ally.”
“There is not a single power which believes Anastasiades”
Expressing that the statements of Anastasiades which place blame on the Turkish Cypriot side have not been taken seriously, Nami stated “Anastasiades can claim all he wants that the negotiations have failed because of the Turkish Cypriot side. There is not a single power in the world which believes him in this regard. All parties have seen how balanced the Turkish Cypriot side is in the negotiations, as well as regarding the Navtex and hydrocarbons issue. I have not yet met a single Ambassador who has claimed the contrary”.
Minister Nami expressed that the diplomacy displayed by the Turkish Cypriot side regarding the PDO registration of hellim has yielded results and that the matter has reached a critical phase.
Nami added if the Greek Cypriot side remains insistent that it is the legitimate government and that only its designated institutions can have authority over the matter, the issue will remain obstructed.
The Navtex crisis continues
Expressing that if the Greek Cypriot leader insists on his perspective that “the Navtex is not enough, my sovereignty should also be recognized” the crisis will persist, Nami stated “we cannot surrender this bargaining chip to them. It is not possible to reach a settlement with a side which considers itself the sole owner of the Island. We must break their expectation in this regard. This is the main fact behind our position regarding natural resources. We witnessed the same situation 10 years ago. They lost their motivation towards finding a solution following their accession to the EU. Now they are playing the natural resource card. The Turkish Cypriot side cannot give in to this game. It is not a matter of natural resources, it is a matter of finding a settlement”.