QA:10;- 15 February 2007, Statement of the Spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey in Response to a Question (Unofficial Translation)


The Ministry had issued a statement following the signing of Exclusive Economic Zone delimitation agreements in the Eastern Mediterranean by Greek Cypriot Authorities with Egypt and Lebanon and the subsequent adoption of a law in the Greek Cypriot Parliament identifying 13 oil exploration fields around the Island of Cyprus. Our views in this regard have been conveyed to the UN and other international organizations and to all states concerned. Turkey is closely monitoring the developments on this issue. Relevant assessments are being made accordingly.

The Greek Cypriot Administration does not represent the Island as a whole nor does it have the authority to conclude agreements on behalf of Turkish Cypriots. Accordingly, we expect the Greek Cypriot Authorities to end their calls for international tender which are not based on common understanding among the Eastern Mediterranean states, and thereby creating fait-accomplis, violating the joint rights of the two peoples on the Island on issues like oil and natural gas exploration. The insistence on the call for international tender will adversely affect the peace and stability on the Island of Cyprus, as well as in the Eastern Mediterranean region.

In any case, Turkey expects those countries and companies that might be interested in conducting oil and gas exploration in the region to act with common sense and; keeping in mind the sensitivity of the Cyprus problem, refrain from actions which may harm the search for a comprehensive settlement within the UN framework.