Cyprus’ Government Spokesman, Kyriacos Koushos, has said that the government has information in its possession that Turkey has in some way obtained studies concerning block 8 of the Republic of Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone.
“It appears that in some way they have information on the studies. Let me clarify that the companies are not suspected,” he said.
Koushos said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s suggestion of sharing the profit from the “Yavuz” drilling was provocative. “It sounds like the thief offering the owner half. It is clear proof of the illegal way in which Turkey is moving, with no respect for international law. It has developed into a pirate of the Eastern Mediterranean,” the Spokesman pointed out.
Furthermore, he said Nicosia is satisfied with the US policy to support the Republic of Cyprus. Koushos also said the EU was hesitant and undecided in implementing decisions taken by the Council of Ministers and the European Council.
Turkey has dispatched drillship Yavuz to conduct a drilling operation off the south of the island of Cyprus, which has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks for a Cyprus settlement have so far failed to yield results. The latest round of negotiations, in July 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.
The Cyprus government has condemned Turkey’s newly planned illegal drilling within the Exclusive Economic Zone and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus, noting that Turkey, provocatively ignoring the repeated calls by the international community and the European Union, to terminate its illegal activities in Cyprus’ EEZ, is now attempting to carry out a “new illegal drilling in the southern EEZ/continental shelf of Cyprus, inside exploration block 8, which was duly licensed to the European companies ENI and TOTAL”.
“This new attempted drilling constitutes yet another flagrant violation of the sovereign rights and jurisdiction of the Republic of Cyprus under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, as well as the relevant customary International Law, and completely disregards the international EEZ delimitation agreements already in force between Cyprus and Israel, and Cyprus and Egypt, respectively,” a statement issued by the Presidency of Cyprus has said.