Cyprus Minister of Energy, Commerce and Industry George Lakkotrypis on Thursday said that Turkey’s actions in the island’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and the wider region must be geo-politically scrutinised.
And that his view is that Ankara intends to turn the Eastern Mediterranean area into a Turkish pond.
Lakkotrypis was a speaker at a conference organised by the Union of Journalists of Greek Daily Newspapers on “Security and perspectives for the new energy routes in the Eastern Mediterranean” held at the Greek Foreign Ministry.
“Through its illegal actions Turkey is trying to lead us all to certain mistakes, which will permit the legitimisation of its actions. Turkey intends to turn the Eastern Mediterranean into a Turkish lake,” he said.
The Eastern Mediterranean region could play a decisive role as an alternative source of supply, but also as region for energy routes to the EU, he also said.
“Not only energy sources, but also energy routes are in the best interests of all concerned,” he added before stressing that Turkey’s illegal actions must be carefully scrutinised under this specific perspective.
As regards the energy plans of Cyprus, he said that the “forthcoming exploratory program will lead to new discoveries, which will offer many alternatives as regards the forms of exploitation and the energy routes to be chosen”.
Lakkotrypis also expressed his opposition to views supporting the freezing of Cyprus’ energy plans or the recognition of Turkey as an equitable player in the region, while the latter violates international law and order.
US Ambassadors to Greece, Geoffrey Pyatt, as well as Cyprus’ Kyriakos Kenevezos were among the conference’s attendees.