EastMed won't be realized without Turkish approval, Turkish Cypriot premier says
The Greek Cypriot-Greek governments’ deal to build a natural gas pipeline in the eastern Mediterranean without consulting Turkish Cyprus can only be described as a hostile attitude, Turkish Cypriot Premier Ersin Tatar said on Jan. 5
His remarks came after the signing ceremony on Jan. 2 of an accord between Greek Cypriot leader Nikos Anastasiades, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the construction of the Eastern Mediterranean natural gas pipeline.
Tatar said that EastMed pipeline agreement is unlikely to be realized without the approval of Turkey due to the accord signed between Libya and Turkey.
“It is observed that due to the political dreams, the initiative is not from economic evaluations, but intended to deprive the Turkish and Turkish Cypriots’ rights on the energy sources,” he noted.
Tatar said that any attempt to exclude Turkey and Turkish Cypriots from the equation would lead to a new escalation risk, given the regional energy geopolitics, the national power capacities of the eastern Mediterranean states and the current military-strategic balances.
The only way to share the resources of the eastern Mediterranean is to stay away from policies to exclude regional actors.
The 2,000-kilometer (1,200-mile) pipeline will be able to transfer between 9 billion and 12 billion cubic meters a year from offshore gas reserves between Israel and Greek Cyprus to Greece, and then on to Italy and other southeastern European countries.
Turkey argues that the Greek Cypriot government should not have started gas explorations before reaching a settlement in reunification talks with the Turkish Cypriots, and that the mineral wealth belonged to both communities.
It is estimated that the transfer cost of the natural gas would be three times cheaper if the pipeline passes through Turkey.
In 1974, following a coup aiming at Cyprus’ annexation by Greece, Ankara had to intervene as a guarantor power. In 1983, Turkish Cyprus was founded.
The decades since then have seen several attempts to resolve the dispute, all ending in failure.
The latest one, held with the participation of the guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the United Kingdom, ended in 2017 in Switzerland.