Cavusoglu says problems of East Med could be solved by agreeing to share revenues
Ninety per cent of the problems in the Eastern Mediterranean would be solved with the creation of a mechanism to share gas revenues, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday, adding that “the drilling problem can be solved very simply”.
Asked if there would be tension if Turkey discovers gas in the Eastern Mediterranean, he said “there will certainly be tension”.
In an interview with CNNTurk, he said people who were told about the proposal for the establishment of a mechanism for sharing the revenues from the gas of the eastern Mediterranean agreed.
“The Republic of Northern Cyprus has submitted a proposal and the Greek Cypriot side, although it accepts that the Turkish Cypriot side has rights, does not want to make a decision. Despite the efforts, Greece and the Greek Cypriots did not respond to a solution. We have not been able to find a permanent solution in Cyprus.
“We are ready to sit at the table with everyone if they are ready for a fair distribution in the Eastern Mediterranean and especially Greece. But at the same time we are determined.”
He insisted the Turkish vessel Oruc Reis had returned to Antalya for maintenance for a few weeks and that Greece could make use of this period.
When the vessel has been maintained it will return, he added.
Cavusoglu also accused Greece of arming the islands.
“They are not honest when they say ‘we do not arm them’”.
According to the Turkish foreign minister Cyprus and Greece have been conducting drilling following agreements signed with Egypt and Israel for years, while trying to exclude Turkey and are not listening to warnings.
“As our President told Merkel, we retain our rights.”
Cavusoglu also referred to the Cyprus issue, saying the three guarantor countries, the two sides on the island and the UN should meet informally, determine what they will discuss and set a timetable.
“We, Turkey, are in favour of resolving the Cyprus issue in a fair manner,” he said.
Regarding Varoshia, he noted “we want to open it while protecting the rights of all”, while on the visit of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Cyprus, the Turkish minister commented he was told that it was not the right approach to go to the Greek sector and not the Turkish side.