'East-Med pipeline is not a peace route’ -Turkish Cypriot President
Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci told on Thursday that a joint pipeline project that could feed 20 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Europe discussed between the leaders of Israel, Greece, and Cyprus would not contribute to peace and security in the region, Daily Sabah reported.
Israeli, Greek and Greek Cypriot Prime Ministers discussed the prospects for the pipeline in Nicosia on Tuesday during their 4th trilateral meeting. The planned East-Med pipeline will carry East Mediterranean natural gas to Europe via Crete and the Greek mainland and the agreement on the pipeline is expected to be signed in 2018.
Turkey and Greece have been at odds recently over the rights to explore for gas near the island of Cyprus, which has been divided since 1974 between the southern Republic of Northern Cyprus and the northern Turkish Republic of Cyprus.
“This is not a peace route,” Akıncı said today in his statement. “Turkish Cypriots also have rights on the natural gas resources on the offshores of Cyprus,” he added.
"To manage this on the basis of mutual benefits and transfer it to Europe via Turkey, as the shortest, cheapest and fastest route to be established in the region, is the most logical [option]. This is way that suits economic reason and contributes to peace and stability as well as the solution in Cyprus," Akinci said.