By Busra Nur Bilgic
ANKARA (AA) – Turkey on Saturday welcomed and fully supported Turkish Cypriot president’s joint use of hydrocarbon resources with the Greek side.
“The President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Mustafa Akinci, presented a new comprehensive cooperation proposal, prepared by the Turkish Cypriot side, for the exploration and management of hydrocarbon resources around the Cyprus Island to the Greek Cypriot side through the UN. We welcome and fully support this cooperation proposal,” Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The proposal foresees that Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, as equal partners of the island, should cooperate on the hydrocarbon resources to which they have equal rights, including income sharing and benefit from these resources, the statement added.
If accepted, the proposal will contribute to the development of peace and cooperation as well as to form a basis for solution of Cyprus issue, the ministry said.
Turkey called all interested parties, including the UN, EU and particularly the guarantor countries, to take this opportunity by supporting this proposal and to encourage co-operation on the island's hydrocarbon resources.
“Turkey is determined to protect the equal rights of the Turkish Cypriots on the island's natural resources as well as its own continental shelf rights in the Eastern Mediterranean,” said the statement.
Turkey will continue its determined and principled stance on protecting Turkish Cypriots rights, until those rights are guaranteed, it added.