Ankara’s undersea water pipeline discussed at House Committee

Ankara’s undersea water pipeline discussed at House Committee

Ankara, which is constructing an undersea water pipeline connecting Turkey with the Cyprus’ northern Turkish occupied areas, is illegally expropriating land belonging to Greek Cypriot refugees for the purposes of the project.

The issue was discussed at the House Refugees` Committee with the participation of Minister of Foreign Affairs Ioannis Kasoulides and Minister of Agriculture Nicos Kouyialis.

Minister Kasoulides said that the issue will be raised at the negotiations for a Cyprus solution, expected to resume this month.

Kasoulides said that Ankara`s water policy in the areas it militarily occupies since 1974 is part of its wider geo-strategic plans in the Eastern Mediterranean.

It is clear, he said, that Ankara aims at the union of the occupied areas with Turkey.

The Foreign Minister said that there are assurances that the EU will be involved in the Cyprus talks.

He also spoke about government efforts, now and during the previous administration, to cancel the project.

Kasoulides added that the government has informed the UN in writing more than a year ago but received no reply, noting that the UN do not reply to such letters.

The pipeline which will bring water from Turkey beneath the Mediterranean to the occupied areas of Cyprus is expected to be fully operational by the end of the year.

The issue will be discussed at the House Committee again in one month when a report of the Council for Geo-strategic Studies is finalized.

At the meeting, the Minister of Agriculture presented the government`s plans to avert any consequences on agriculture from Turkey`s pipeline.

MPs heard that the government is developing a plan to allocate additional 25 million cubic meters of water for agricultural purposes. The project for the recycled water will cost 3 million euro.

The Republic of Cyprus became a full EU member state in 2004. More than one third of the territory of the Mediterranean island of Cyprus is occupied by Turkish troops since the invasion in the summer of 1974.