31 January, 2007
Government Spokesman Christodoulos Pashiardes described the announcement made by the Turkish Foreign
Ministry regarding Cyprus' intentions to proceed with the exploration and exploitation of possible oil reserves in its exclusive economic zone, as ''a flagrant threat against Cyprus, Lebanon and Egypt''.
"Today's (Tuesday's) written statement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry regarding the decision of the Cyprus government to start procedures for oil or natural gas extraction in its exclusive economic zone, constitutes not only an unacceptable provocation, but also a flagrant threat against Cyprus, Lebanon and Egypt as well as against peace and stability in the area", Pashiardes stresses.
In a written statement issued Tuesday afternoon, the spokesman points out that "Turkey's demands to assert rights and interests regarding he oil and natural gas reserves at the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Cyprus are not backed by the international law or the international rules".
Pashiardes says that "the illegal administrations of the pseudo-state (in Turkish occupied Cyprus) are not legitimized to have a say in an issue that is only on the legal Cypriot government to decide".
"The solution of the Cyprus problem, an issue that is mentioned in the Turkish FM's statement, does not depend on the oil or natural gas extraction, but on the good intentions and political will of the involved parties", he says.
Pashiardes adds that the Turkish side has to prove in deeds its good intention and political will "and not resort to its favorite method of blackmailing and threatening".
The Republic of Cyprus has signed agreements with Egypt and Lebanon regarding the boundaries of their exclusive economic zones in the Mediterranean Sea.
The Turkish foreign ministry said in its statement that "the countries and companies, which think of launching oil and natural gas exploration under null and void licenses to be given by the Greek Cypriot administration, should take into consideration the sensitivity of the situation and will of Turkish Cypriots who are the other founder nation on the island".
"These countries and companies should not launch any initiatives that may have a negative impact on settlement of Cyprus problem", the Turkish MFA said.
The Republic of Cyprus is an EU member state since 2004. Cyprus is occupied since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied one third of its territory.
Turkey is the only country in the world not to recognize the Republic of Cyprus.
Source: Athens News Agency