Press Statement On The Continental Shelf Delimitation Agreement Signed Between Turkey And The Turkish Republic Of Northern Cyprus(unofficial Translation)
In the Ministry’s press release, dated 15 September 2011, we have stated that upon the invitation of Turkey, a technical meeting was held at the Ministry with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. As a result of that meeting, it was agreed that Turkey and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus would conclude a continental shelf delimitation agreement should the Greek Cypriot Administration proceed with offshore drilling activities in the south of the Island.
Since the Greek Cypriot Administration has started the drilling activity on September 19, as already announced, a continental shelf delimitation agreement has been signed today (September 21) by Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus H.E. Derviş Eroğlu while they are attending the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
The agreement delineates a part of Turkey’s and the TRNC’s continental shelves in the Eastern Mediterranean with a line constructed by 27 coordinates determined on the basis of international law and equitable principles.
The agreement takes into account the legitimate, equal and inherent rights of the Turkish Cypriots like those of the Greek Cypriots over the whole continental shelf of the Island.
It is also clearly stated in the agreement that Turkey and Turkish Republic of Cyprus will continue their efforts towards a comprehensive settlement in Cyprus.
As it was shared by public before on various occasions, the next step is the issuance of the licenses for the exploration and exploitation of oil and gas reserves around the Island to the Turkish Petroleum Corporation by the Government of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. In fact, necessary consultation and coordination to this end are being carried out by the relevant authorities of the both countries.
Turkey will continue to give its full support to the intensive and sincere efforts of the Turkish Cypriot side, which is resolved to reach a comprehensive settlement agreement in Cyprus until the end of the year in line with the expectation of the UN Secretary-General.
The Greek Cypriot side should put forward a similar political will for peace and reconciliation by stopping their drilling activities instead of wasting their energy on creating tensions, to the detriment of the solution process. It will thus be possible to reach a lasting settlement which will also help the Eastern Mediterranean to become an area of peace, stability and cooperation, while ensuring that the natural resources of Cyprus be equitably shared by the two peoples who are co-owners of the Island.