Statement of President Ersin Tatar on Cooperation Proposal
As the Turkish Cypriot Side, I presented our cooperation proposals to the Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations Miroslav Jenča, to be conveyed via UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to the Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades. Our proposals for cooperation have also been forwarded to the UN Secretary General through our TRNC Representative in New York. As the President of the TRNC, I constantly underline the need for cooperation between the two Sides in order to prepare the necessary conditions conducive for a settlement in Cyprus.
Cooperation on the island could also contribute to cooperation and stability of our region, bearing in mind both the geographic location of Cyprus and the global and regional conjuncture. In light of this, I have conveyed four cooperation proposals that are based on our inherent rights, the needs of both Sides and the win-win principle. My proposals with regards to these four areas of cooperation can be summarised as follows: My first proposal relates to hydrocarbon resources around the island, which is causing constant crisis between the two Sides and the region, emanating from the unilateral and maximalist stance of the Greek Cypriot Side.
As the Turkish Cypriot Side, we have always chosen the path of diplomacy for resolving crises. With this understanding, we have made three proposals to the Greek Cypriot leadership as a confirmation of our will to cooperate on hydrocarbon resources. All relevant parties accept that these resources belong to both Sides. We are now making another opening by proposing the establishment of a cooperation mechanism, where the contracted energy companies that have signed separate contracts with the two Sides shall be authorised and included in the cooperation mechanism. This opening will, at the same time, address the concerns and objections put forward by the Greek Cypriot Side. In my cooperation proposals on hydrocarbons, I stated in clearest terms that as the Turkish Cypriot Side, I am ready to turn this crisis into an opportunity, which continues to negatively affect the relations between the two Sides and has become one of the causes of instability in our region, and that I am determined to implement our proposal as soon as possible.
Secondly, I proposed for the island to be included in the European Union interconnection system by connecting to the Republic of Türkiye. Currently, the electrical systems of the two Sides are interconnected and both Sides are able to supply electricity to the other when needed. However, joining the EU grid appears to be the most effective way for transition to green energy and to overcome the difficulties experienced by both Sides due to increasing energy demands. As the TRNC, we are working on an interconnection with the Republic of Türkiye. The Greek Cypriot Side is working on an alternative option, which is much costlier. Looking at the matter from the economic feasibility point of view, both in terms of the needed connection investment and maintenance costs, it is clear that the interconnection to Türkiye is by far the more economically reasonable. Interconnection to Türkiye can also be realised in a very short time.
As the third area of cooperation, I proposed the effective use of solar energy for transition to green energy, which is the common goal of both sides. For this purpose I have proposed the establishment of a joint committee composed of experts and people with authority from both Sides to cooperate and invest in solar energy throughout the island.
As my fourth cooperation proposal, I expressed that we are ready to establish a joint committee to be composed of authorised officials from both Sides to cooperate on the rational use and development of freshwater resources on both Sides. I also suggested that the water carried through underwater pipelines to our country from Türkiye could also be considered within the scope of this cooperation. I also conveyed to the Secretary General that we will very soon present two additional cooperation proposals, namely on irregular migration and demining of the Island of Cyprus.
As inherent sovereign equals, the Turkish Cypriot Side has shown that it has the will, not only in word but in deed, to work together with its Greek Cypriot counterparts on cooperation areas that will be of benefit to both Sides, the Island of Cyprus and our region. If we want to contribute to peace, stability and prosperity, both for our island and our region, we expect a positive outlook from all relevant parties, especially from the Greek Cypriot Side, to implement these cooperation proposals. I also asked the UN Secretary-General to urge Mr. Anastasiades to approach our proposals positively and with an open mind.
The ball is now in the court of the Greek Cypriot side. My call to Mr. Anastasiades is this: We are ready to take a positive step for the future of our island and our region. Let us work together on these areas of cooperation and contribute to the wellbeing of both our Peoples and our region. The Turkish Cypriot Side, with the full support of our Motherland Türkiye, has put on the table yet another concrete example of its constructive and proactive outlook and will, with proposals for cooperation. As a leader firmly supporting reconciliation and diplomacy, I would like to reiterate my determination to implement these cooperation proposals, the benefits of which will be felt in all areas of life.