TURKEY

'Turkey wants to guarantee Turkish Cypriots' rights'

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Ankara's one aim in the Eastern Mediterranean is protecting the rights of the Turkish Cypriots, Turkey's foreign minister said on Wednesday.

"There is only one thing we want. To guarantee that the rights of Turkish Cypriots are accepted by Greek Cypriot administration, Greece, the EU and everyone," Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu told a meeting of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM) in Turkey's capital Ankara.

The two-day meeting will last through Thursday at the Turkish parliament.

Çavuşoğlu said that political solutions will emerge in the Eastern Mediterranean when people "learn to share in compliance with the law."

"[Later] we won't have any trouble sharing the wealth [in the region]," said Çavuşoğlu.

Çavuşoğlu praised efforts of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean to find a solution in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Turkish drilling vessel the Fatih is currently carrying out research and drilling activities in areas where it was licensed by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. A second Turkish drilling vessel, Yavuz, is expected to be operational in the region as of July.

Fatih's offshore drilling operations fall entirely in Turkey's continental shelf as registered with the UN and under permits granted by Turkey to Turkish Petroleum in previous years.

Turkey has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration's unilateral drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus also has rights to the resources in the area.

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