Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay has said that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus fully supports Operation Olive Branch carried out by the Turkish Armed Forces in Syria’s Afrin region against terrorist organisations.
In an interview to the Anadolu News Agency, Foreign Minister Özersay evaluated the latest developments on the island and the region.
Stating that Operation Olive Branch carried out by the Turkish Armed Forces was being carried out within the framework of international law, Özersay said “Turkey is a state which has the right under international law to defend and protect its territorial integrity and security. We as the TRNC fully support any step taken by Turkey to defend its territorial integrity and its fight against terrorism”.
Also touching upon the Greek Cypriot side’s unilateral hydrocarbon activities, the TRNC Foreign Minister said that the Greek Cypriots could not ignore the Turkish Cypriots’ rights over the island’s natural resources.
He said that the TRNC, consulting with and acting together with Turkey will not allow the Greek Cypriot side to exploit the natural resources in the Eastern Mediterranean on their own.
Stating that the Greek Cypriots, as expressed by the UN since 2004, were not ready to share the island’s natural wealth with Turkish Cypriots, Özersay said “this is a reality. They need to show us that they are ready to share power with us. They need to show us that they are ready to share the island’s wealth with us.”
On the Cyprus negotiations process, the Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kudret Özersay said that it will not be possible to achieve a successful outcome by negotiating just for the sake of negotiating.
“Resuming the talks in the same manner will only result in a vicious circle. We want a result oriented process. We don’t want to be left in a limbo” he said.
Özersay added that there was a need for a change in mentality for the talks to be successful.
“There is currently no such perspective for negotiations with the Greek Cypriots” he stressed.
Stating that the Turkish Cypriot side’s position regarding the negotiations was clear, Özersay said “what needs to be done? First of all we need to see steps proving that their mentality has changed. The Greek Cypriot leadership has to show us that it is ready to share power and natural wealth with us. There is no meaning in restarting talks if this doesn’t take place. This is why President Mustafa Akıncı is justified in not appointing a new negotiator”.