Cyprus’ best answer to Turkish provocations is to continue with energy plans, says Energy Minister

The best answer that the Republic of Cyprus can provide for Turkey’s provocations is to continue and complete its energy plans, stated Energy Minister George Lakotrypis.

Asked about the Republic of Cyprus’ energy plans, bearing in mind the Turkish provocations in the island’s Exclusive Economic Zone, Lakkotrypis said that the drilling schedule continues as planned and hoped for a positive result.

Speaking in Larnaca after a memorial service for those who fell during the Turkish invasion, the minister said that four years ago, the Republic formed a strategy to build and enhance its relations with neighbouring states and the US, the EU and other.

Continually, at a bilateral or trilateral level we are expanding our relations with Israel, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan with Greece always at our side, the minister added.

Asked how important it is for Cyprus that French warships are in the region where the drilling is taking place, Lakkotrypis said that the best reply we can give to Turkey’s provocation is to continue and complete the energy planning including this drilling which will be decisive for the future, he added.

On 26/6 the Republic of Cyprus issued a directive to seafarers (NAVTEX 240/17), saying that drilling operation will be conducted in an area bounded by the drilling ship West Capella, from the 10th of July 2017 until 15th of October 2017.

The rights on Block 11 were assigned by the Republic of Cyprus to Total back in 2013 at the conclusion of the second international bid round held by the country. Total decided to extend the lease of Block 11, re-evaluating its geophysical model in view of the discovery of Egypt’s giant Zohr field only about 6km away from the boundary of Block 11.

Source: Cyprus News Agency