CONSTANTINOPLE – A unified Cyprus will bring the world a parcel of peace and energy security, Turkish-Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci said.
Akinci, speaking at the 23rd World Energy Congress, said he still believes a resolution is in sight to reunify the island divided since an unlawful 1974 invasion by Turkey, which still keeps a standing army in the northern third it occupies.
Turkish President Recept Tayyip Erdogan has also sent in – and ordered out – a warship and energy research vessel in Cypriot sovereign waters as the government of President Nicos Anastasiades has leased sea areas to international companies to look for potentially lucrative energy finds.
“Depending on the approach of the Greek Cypriots, it is possible for us to have two federations on both sides of the island in a very short time. Greece, Turkey and the island have the chance of redefining the concept of solidarity,” Akinci said, the Turkish Anadolu News Agency reported.
With regards to natural gas found in the East Mediterranean, Akinci said the majority of energy production was based on fossil raw materials, and stressed the importance of accessing clean and durable energy resources.
“A new energy corridor between the East Mediterranean and Europe through Turkey would be very secure, low cost and efficient. It would not only benefit the Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots in Cyprus, or Turkey, but would also be a huge opportunity and potential for a very large geographical area,” he said.
He said there are too many problems with a sub-sea power cable project in the Mediterranean Sea between Israel, Greek Cyprus, Crete and Greece, suggesting an alternative route which is shorter and cheaper.
“The solution to problems on the island will create new horizons that could be opened for all of us in the energy sector.
“The Middle East could be geographically connected to the West via underwater connection through a more feasible project between Israel, possibly the Cyprus Federation, and Turkey,” he said, according to the news agency.