Akinci says lifting of US arms embargo is negative for peace

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Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci argues that Cyprus is increasing energy tension with its regional military alliances while the US lifting the arms embargo is another negative step.

Akinci said that only sharing the island’s natural resources can bring peace and prosperity but the energy standoff has seen drones stationed on both sides of the divided island.

In a statement, Akinci said his 13 July proposal for Greek and Turkish Cypriots to share in the gas bonanza still stands.

He accused Nicosia of taking “unilateral steps” on the energy search which forced the Turkish Cypriots to respond.

“All our efforts are towards the establishment of conditions where there will be no tension on our island or in our region and where cooperation and peace will prevail,” said Akinci.

“The negative results of efforts aimed at achieving superiority through a policy of tension instead of our proposals based on sharing and managing together is becoming clearer with every passing day,” he added.

He said Cyprus’ recent military relations with Israel and the purchase of drones within this framework had heightened concerns.

Akinci blamed Cyprus for increasing tensions through its regional alliances.

“The tension which started by Greek Cypriot efforts to unilaterally benefit from the natural resources around Cyprus had reached a different dimension with the agreements signed with some regional countries by ignoring the Turkish Cypriot rights.”

The Turkish Cypriot also referred to Nicosia providing facilities to military ships of other countries but did not mention what Turkey was doing. It faces EU sanctions for illegally drilling in Cyprus waters.

“Besides all this, lifting the arms embargo for the Greek Cypriot side which was put on the agenda again in the US is a negative development.”