Turkey calls on all parties in eastern Med to cooperate: report

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Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu / AFP

Turkey’s foreign minister on Monday called on all parties in the eastern Mediterranean to cooperate in efforts to exploit the natural resources of the area, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency, adding that in that case “everybody wins.”

“Cyprus is our national cause. The equality and security of the Turkish Cypriot people are indispensable. On this basis, we do not exclude any solution,” Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said in his keynote speech at the 11th Ambassadors’ Conference.

“Our message to everyone interested in the [Eastern Mediterranean] region is the same. If you cooperate with us, everyone wins.”

Turkey will never allow steps that ignore the legitimate rights and interests of Turkey and Turkish Cypriots in the eastern Mediterranean, the junction of three continents, Çavuşoğlu said.

He stressed that Turkey backed a common solution in which the resources are equally shared.

Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral drilling in the eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) also has rights to resources in the area.

In 1974 Turkey has occupied the northern part of Cyprus amid a diplomatic crisis with Greece over the island.

The decades since have seen several attempts to resolve the Cyprus dispute, all ending in failure. The latest one, held with the participation of the guarantor countries — Turkey, Greece and the UK — came to an end without any progress in 2017 in Switzerland.

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