Greece's Foreign Minister Giorgos Katrougalos ruled out Turkey's exclusion on energy-related issues in the Eastern Mediterranean area.
In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency (AA) ahead of the foreign minister's visit to Turkey today, he asserted that Turkey could not be excluded from the disputed region nor could anyone say anything to this effect.
"How can one exclude Turkey from an area in which it has a coast line of many kilometers?" Katrougalos said.
The Greek minister said his country supports the rights of the Greek Cypriots in their own Exclusive Economic Zone, an area in which Turkey has consistently contested the unilateral drilling conducted by the Greek Cyprot side, and vehemently declared the rights of the Turkish Cypriots to the resources in the area.
However, while defending the Greek Cypriots rights, he added that "of course that doesn't signify a monopoly over the whole Eastern Mediterranean area."
Katrougalos also explained they are testing the waters to see if it is possible to resume failed negotiations between all parties to Cyprus, which date back to 2017, with the aim of reuniting the divided island. "We want the negotiations to begin. But they should be negotiations that have a chance of reaching an agreement, and not just for the sake of negotiating. We are committed to this because we want a solution for the Cyprus issue," he stressed.
The island of Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when a Greek Cypriot coup took place after decades of violence against the island's Turkish community and Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power. The island has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including the collapse of a 2017 initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and the U.K.
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