Following his meeting with the EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in the capital Ankara, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu stated that Turkey will support the EU’s mediation on energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean as long as it is an honest broker.
Adding that Turkey wants to establish a more positive atmosphere with the EU, Çavuşoğlu stressed that Turkey has expectations for the Term Presidency of Germany and the EU is expected to come closer to Turkey within the framework of the EU’s common assets and objective criteria. He added that Turkey has always been fair and transparent in its relations with the EU and expects the same from them.
Mentioning the hydrocarbon resources issue in the Eastern Mediterranean, Çavuşoğlu said that Turkey has responsibility to protect both the rights of the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey. Upon a question regarding the energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean, Çavuşoğlu pointed out that the main reason of the problem is the Greek Cypriot side conducting unilateral seismic research and drilling activities by disregarding the rights of the Turkish Cypriots in the region.
Emphasising that Turkey warned the EU many times and, due to the warnings being disregarded, sent drilling vessels to the region, Çavuşuğlu said that in order to show flexibility on the issue, Turkish Cypriots’ rights for the income of hydrocarbon should be guaranteed. “The TRNC has a proposal on that issue. A commission can be established. Furthermore, we have shared our views on alternative solutions. These can be via an EU mechanism or via private companies” Çavuşoğlu added.
Pointing out that the Greek Cypriots are indulged due to unconditional support by the EU, Çavuşoğlu made a call to the EU to support a solution. Expressing that Turkey is ready for cooperation with all countries, mainly with Greece, except the Greek Cypriot side, Çavuşoğlu stressed “Supporting Turkey on the one hand, but not complying with requirements will not resolve problems. We as Turkey give support for the EU being a moderator but they should be honest. We are ready to work with the EU if they agree to cooperate.