South’s drilling programme for July will cause more tension: Akinci

The intention of the Greek Cypriot side to launch new test drilling for hydrocarbons offshore Cyprus in July, could cause new tensions in the area, President Mustafa Akinci has said.

According to a statement issued yesterday by his office, while addressing a meeting at Istanbul University, Akinci said that a federal solution would favour everyone and noted that in order for a solution to be possible, the mentality of the Greek Cypriot side should change, as it “faces difficulties” on the issue of power sharing.

Akinci argued also that establishing a confederation or a unitary state is easier than establishing a federation, saying: “Even though it is difficult, we are exerting efforts for a federal solution, which is the only one that could be accepted by all sides concerned and we will continue our constructive stance with our entire good will during this short period of time that exists until July“.

Akinci also reiterated the view that the “negative influence” of the election campaign for the 2018 presidential elections in South Cyprus had started to become evident early on, and that this harms the negotiations. He repeated the view that the drilling for hydrocarbons planned for July could cause tensions and that the Turkish Cypriots had said, on every occasion, that energy resources should become a reason for cooperation and not for tension. He added the following:

If this negotiating process does not succeed for reasons which are not due to us, the Turkish Cypriots will continue our way as TRNC with our identity as a democratic and secular society. Just as we do not want to become a province, Turkey does not need a new province“.

Finally, the President argued that the solution of the Cyprus problem will positively influence relations between Turkey and the EU, between whom, tensions have increased.


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