NICOSIA – Cyprus’ Agriculture and Environment Minister Nikos Kouyialis has denied a report the government was looking to Turkey for water.
“Cyprus has not asked, nor does it intend to ask, for water from Turkey,” Kouyialis told the Cyprus News Agency.
“Cyprus uses desalination facilities which can produce all the potable water to meet the needs of all citizens,” he said.
He was being asked to comment on earlier remarks by Veysel Eroglu, Turkey’s Forestry and Water Affairs Minister.
Speaking from Bolu province in Turkey, Eroglu told reporters there was “demand” – he did not say a request – for water from the south of Cyprus, the agency and Cyprus Mail said.
Eroglu was quoted as saying: “This is the first time I say this: there is an incredible amount of drought in southern Cyprus. The natural resources minister called. There is demand from that side. What can we do about this?”
It was unclear to which minister Eroglu claimed to have spoken to – Kouyialis or the north’s ‘agriculture and natural resources minister’ Naz?m Cavusoglu.
Kouyialis’ official title is ‘Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment.’
From Eroglu’s comments, it can be construed that the north’s agriculture minister was conveying to him an appeal from the south, the media reports said.
An 80 kilometer-long subsea pipeline was completed in September 2015, piping water from Mersin, Turkey, to a receptor station in Kyrenia, in the north of the island which has been unlawfully occupied by Turkey since a 1974 invasion.