Nicosia answered Ankara's proposal for energy cooperation
The Republic of Cyprus has underscored the imperative of upholding international law and the law of the sea in any discussions surrounding potential energy cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean. This stance directly responds to Ankara's new proposal, articulated by Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan.
A controversial proposal
Earlier, Fidan, after meeting with his counterpart from the internationally unrecognized Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), hinted at the possibility of cooperation on the energy resources of the Eastern Mediterranean even before a final resolution of the Cyprus issue.
The above suggestion has been met with reservation in Nicosia, where adherence to international legal norms is considered non-negotiable.
Theodoros Gotsis, Cyprus' Foreign Ministry spokesperson, emphasized Nicosia's consistent call for dialogue and cooperation to be firmly rooted in international law. In comments made to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), Gotsis indicated that the proposal from Ankara was familiar and had yet to be formally presented to the Cypriot government.
Gotsis reiterated that the Republic of Cyprus had initially proposed a dialogue based on international law for delimiting Exclusive Economic Zones between the two nations. However, Turkey's proposal echoes past positions, implying a shared decision-making process with the Turkish Cypriot side on Cyprus' sovereign rights. In that case, it is a proposal that Nicosia cannot entertain.
The ongoing debate underscores the intricate complexities woven into the broader Cyprus issue. Gotsis underscored the potential undermining of the Republic of Cyprus' sovereign rights and cited the sustained efforts by Cyprus' President to seek a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem.
He further noted the stark difference in the diplomatic relations between Israel and Lebanon compared to the dynamic between Cyprus and Turkey. The latter continues to deny recognizing the Republic of Cyprus, further complicating negotiations and proposed cooperation in the energy sector.