Cyprus urges Turkey to co-op­er­ate on en­ergy

Viet Nam News - - WORLD -

NICOSIA — Cyprus is ready to work with Turkey on ex­ploit­ing the east Mediter­ranean’s po­ten­tial oil and gas wealth, as long as the eth­ni­cally split is­land na­tion is re­uni­fied, the coun­try’s pres­i­dent said yes­ter­day.

Big gas re­serves have been found around Cyprus and the coun­try, which is a mem­ber of the Euro­pean Union, is al­ready work­ing with Egypt and Is­rael.

Turkey says it’s en­ti­tled to its share of any po­ten­tial gas re­serves and has launched a search of its own. But Ni­cos Anas­tasi­ades in­sisted that the pre­req­ui­site for join­ing this re­gional en­ergy co-op­er­a­tion will have to be the re­uni­fi­ca­tion of Cyprus, which has been split since 1974.

“We con­tinue to up­grade our en­ergy co-op­er­a­tion with coun­tries in the eastern Mediter­ranean and in Europe and cer­tainly, I un­der­score this, with Turkey in the event of a Cyprus set­tle­ment,” Anas­tasi­ades told a con­fer­ence yes­ter­day.

Cyprus’ For­eign Min­is­ter Ni­cos Christodoulides said Turkey’s threats against Cyprus’ own en­ergy search won’t draw Cyprus into a dis­cus­sion dis­put­ing its sov­er­eign rights. He said the Cypriot gov­ern­ment also called on Turkey to ne­go­ti­ate the de­mar­ca­tion of the two coun­tries’ sea bor­ders.

“We want Turkey to be part of this co-op­er­a­tion, we pre­fer to have ex­cel­lent re­la­tions with our neigh­bours, but it’s up to Turkey ...The prob­lem in the re­gion is Turkey,” he said.

US Am­bas­sador to Cyprus Kath­leen Do­herty said the US sup­ports Cyprus’ right to de­velop and ex­ploit its nat­u­ral re­sources and be­lieves “mil­i­tary re­sponses to po­ten­tial com­mer­cial dis­putes are in­ap­pro­pri­ate.” — AP

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