TRNC’s rights to natural resources a ‘red line’

Both states on the island of Cyprus have equal rights to all natural resources, TRNC energy minister Hakan Dinçyürek said yesterday, ‘Hurriyet’ reports.

Dinçyürek (pictured right with Turkish energy minister Taner Yıldız) insisted that his government would not give up rights to natural resources on and around the island.

Speaking at the Atlantic Council Energy and Economy Summit in Istanbul Dinçyürek said, “This is a red line for us.”

Energy policy has a critical effect on international relations, Dinçyürek said, adding that this is the reason why the Greek Cypriot administration has made efforts to cooperate with other states in the eastern Mediterranean.

The Greek Cypriot administration suspended peace talks, making the excuse that the Turkish side was engaging in hydrocarbon exploration, and refusing every possible solution to achieve permanent peace, Dinçyürek said.

The Greek Cypriot administration was the side that chose to leave the negotiating table, making a number of excuses to no longer seek peace and declining any solution within the Annan Plan and blocking any kind of agreement, the minister added.

“We are at the table and we extend our hand for peace. But we are determined to take steps to protect our rights to resources on and around the island as well,” Dinçyürek stated.

The Cyprus negotiations resumed after a two-year hiatus in February 2013.

The previous round of talks had been suspended, because of the Euro-zone debt crisis and the Greek Cypriots held the EU presidency in 2012.

South Cyprus suspended the negotiations on 7th October after Turkey sent a seismic survey vessel ship to search for oil and gas offshore Cyprus.

Increasing the use of renewable energy is a priority of the government. The Beşparmak Mountains, which are on the north side of the island, have significant potential for wind-energy generation.

“As the environment minister, it is my duty to develop such resources,” Dinçyürek said.

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