Turkish, Northern Cyprus PM's discuss electricity link

Turkey, TRNC energy protocol of Oct. 11 foresees construction of undersea electricity cable link between countries

Turkish, Northern Cyprus PM's discuss electricity link

World Bulletin / News Desk

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) Prime Minister Huseyin Ozgurgun discussed progressing the construction of an undersea electricity cable between the two countries, Ozgurgun said in an interview on Tuesday.

Turkey and the T.R.N.C. signed an energy protocol on Oct. 11 that foresaw the construction of an undersea electricity cable link between the countries.

After meeting his Turkish counterpart in Ankara, Ozgurgun said they had discussed the steps needed to develop mutual projects further.

"We discussed the electricity cable link project at the meeting," he said. "Previously, we had a link for telecommunications, for water and now is the time for electricity. We hope to have this interconnected electricity system in Northern Cyprus."

The collaborative efforts between both sides include Turkey's water supply project launched by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan when he was prime minister in 2011.

Acknowledging that the water project had created a very positive outcome on the island, the Turkish Cypriot premier said the electricity project was also an essential project for the island.

The water agreement allows the transfer of fresh water for the next 50 years. The first fresh water from Turkey to Northern Cyprus was sent in October 2015 and has continued unabated since.

Ozgurgun expressed his optimism following the meeting with Erdogan and Yildirim in Ankara.

"I have seen that we have full consensus both on the Cyprus issue and on financial and economic policies, investments and internal matters between Turkey and the TRNC," Ozgurgun noted.

Reunification talks will take place in Geneva on Jan. 9 to reach a comprehensive settlement as soon as possible, followed by a conference on Cyprus on Jan. 12 with the potential participation of Turkey, Greece, and the U.K. as the guarantor powers.

"While not seeing a definite statement on the issue, I think Greece will attend the meeting at the level of prime minister," Ozgurgun said. "The U.K. might be attending at the level of foreign minister as a guarantor country." He did not provide details on who would attend from the Turkish side.

"This is at the discretion of Turkey, however, we will be there both as the government and the political parties in TRNC," he added.

Ozgurgun said that Northern Cyprus has strategic importance for Turkey given recent terrorist attacks in the region and developments in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine and Israel.

"The Northern Cyprus issue is a strategic and national issue," he said, adding that it is also key to the balance in the eastern Mediterranean region.

Reunification discussions resumed in May 2015 and both sides had previously said they hoped for a solution by the end of 2016. Once a final agreement is reached, it will be put to both the Turkish and Greek Cypriot communities in a referendum.

A peace deal was approved by Turkish Cypriots in 2004 but rejected by Greek Cypriot voters.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Ocak 2017, 13:56