Eastern Mediterranean University (EMU) Faculty of Business and Economics, Department of Political Science and International Relations academician and Head of EMU Cyprus Policy Center, Prof. Dr. Ahmet Sözen gave a presentation in the Italian Senate, titled “Regional Reconciliation in the Eastern Mediterranean and Development of Energy Resources”.
The conference took place at the Senate of the Republic in Rome, as a result of collaboration between the Italian the Center for Peace in the Middle East (CIPMO), the International Affairs Institute (IAI) and the National Hydrocarbon Company, Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi (ENI).
During the conference, the technical aspects of discovering and extracting energy from important sources were discussed. In addition, the conference focused on the relationship between regional stakeholders as well as possible geostrategic results and transformations.
The opening speech of the conference was given by ENI Executive Director Claudio Descalzi. After the themed speech from Miguel Arias Canete, Energy and Climate Change Delegate of the European Commission, a speech was given by Paolo Gentiloni, Minister of Foreign Affairs. A speech was also given by Head of the Italian Senate Foreign Affairs Committee.
Prof. Dr. Sözen started his speech by stating that whether natural resources are used as sources of conflict or cooperation, will impact whether or not an agreement will be reached. Prof. Dr. Sözen noted that stakeholders must unite their wisdom and power within legal framework. Acknowledging that this will not be easy, Prof. Dr. Sözen highlighted the fact that numerous inspirational examples that can be used as reference do exist.
Prof. Dr. Sözen stated that there is potential for cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean region regarding hydrocarbon, before going on to note that maximum utilization is almost impossible because of the number, density and length disputes in the region.
Prof. Dr. Sözen emphasized at the Italian Senate that “The international community must strongly encourage the prevention of the 2017 hydrocarbon drillings until the negotiations are finalized as well as encouraging both leaders to swiftly find a solution to the Cyprus problem”.
Providing detailed information about approaches regarding what needs to be done, Sözen stated that the most beneficial methods must be chosen in order to meet ideals such as regional agreements. Specific to Cyprus, Sözen stated that potential risks should be eliminated and therefore hydrocarbon drillings delayed until after the finalization of negotiations.