Turkey is ready to negotiate a two-state solution to the Cyprus problem, if reunification talks between two sides fail and no agreement is reached over the establishment of a joint commission on gas resources on the island, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said.
Davutoğlu criticized the Greek Cypriot plan to use oil and gas exploration rights around the eastern Mediterranean island as collateral for an international bailout package that it desperately needs to protect its economy from going bankrupt. “As Turkey, we want negotiations to start between both sides on the island and between Turkey and Greece, and we want a result, eventually. But Greek Cyprus unilaterally enacted a law that ignores the rights of Turkish Cypriots over the resources around Cyprus,” daily Habertürk quoted Davutoğlu as saying.
“We have three paths ahead … The U.N. mission should be accelerated and the sides should talk on a comprehensive solution and the resources should belong to a united Cyprus. A new state, which Turks are a part of, should be able to use them,” he added.
U.N. envoy to Cyprus Alexander Downer had said earlier this month that a bid to restart stalled talks to reunify the divided island would only happen after the country concluded negotiations with prospective international creditors for a rescue loan that it needs in order not to go bankrupt.
“If this does not happen, then two sides should establish a body over the usage of resources that should jointly manage the marketing and extracting. The fund should be blocked in an account and should be used for peace process and the period after peace,” Davutoğlu said, referring to reunification talks.
“If these do not happen and Greek Cyprus says ‘the resources are ours’ then it means tacitly that Turkish Cypriots own the resources in the north. If they behave according to this claim, we are ready to negotiate a two-state solution. Then these two states will meet in the EU,” Davutoğlu said, adding that he was planning a visit to Turkish Cyprus soon.