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EastMed pipeline decisions political, not financial says Akinci

Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci

The East Med pipeline agreement between Cyprus, Greece and Israel is not financially advantageous and will not help solve the Cyprus problem, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said on Thursday.

In a written statement, Akinci said that the pipeline, which is planned to extend from Israel “to Southern Cyprus, from Crete to Greece and ultimately to Italy” is a much longer and more costly route than other alternatives.

It is clear, Akinci said, that this project, which is being kept on the agenda despite the views by experts, “will not help solve the Cyprus problem, just as Southern Cyprus has become a member of the EU.”

According to the Turkish Cypriot leader, the decision to sign the agreement in Athens later on Thursday is contrary to geographical realities, it does not make sense financially, but rather it has been prompted by political concerns.

He argued that the political atmosphere can be changed by mutual steps but that it is impossible to change geography.

The Turkish Cypriots and Turkey cannot be excluded from the Eastern Mediterranean energy equation, he said.

Akinci reiterated there was need for a way to jointly exploit energy resources in the Eastern Mediterranean which could ultimately help solve the Cyprus problem.

He also reiterated that the solution of the Cyprus problem “has become a necessity not only for Cyprus but also for the region.”

The agreement for the construction of the EastMed natural gas pipeline is set to be signed on Thursday evening in Athens between Greece, Cyprus and Israel by the three countries’ energy ministers.

President Nicos Anastasiades is also in Athens for the occasion.

In the meantime, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said during an event in Trabzon that Turkey would not allow any violation of her rights or those of Turkish Cypriots.

 

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